Brits lead the way in online grocery shopping – but consumers want more

online grocery shopping with Asda

A new online grocery survey of 2,000 consumers reveals how fast the online market is growing – and the areas that are holding back further growth.

A new survey of online grocery shopping by retail experience personalisation specialists RichRelevance makes for very interesting, and concerning, reading for local retailers with over half of all UK shoppers doing some or all of their weekly shopping online.

The research, which includes responses from over 2,000 participants across the United Kingdom, France and Germany, investigated how consumers are using the internet to do their grocery shopping, whilst analysing some of the issues and barriers that prevent more people from making the switch from instore to online grocery shopping.

Some 53% of the UK population are doing some or all of their grocery shopping online, a figure significantly higher than in France (40%) or Germany (32%). However, despite the majority of consumers showing a willingness to embrace modern technology and shop online, grocery retailers have failed to take full advantage.

There are no surprises in the key drivers to why consumers choose to shop online, namely increased convenience (62%) and the ability to save time (59%). However, the research also revealed that grocery retailers are failing to take full advantage of new technology to make the online grocery experience more personalised.

UK consumers would like to see more features such as “reminders on frequently bought items” (80%), “relevant alternatives” (58%) and would also like grocery retailers to tailor products shown based on dietary requirements (43%).

There is also an opportunity for grocery retailers to automate the sales process, with 53% of people indicating that they would be happy for their retailer to automatically re-order frequently bought items, such as toilet roll, laundry detergent and pet food. Further, 55% of consumers would like grocery retailers to offer recipe ideas based on what they are adding to their cart.

Despite just over half (52%) of Britons doing their grocery shopping online, the overwhelming majority of consumers (97%) are also still buying products in-store. When they were probed as to why, 51% of consumers said that they do not trust retailers to pick the freshest produce on their behalf, with 68% preferring to physically handle items themselves in store.

STG July 2021