The value of virtual shopping baskets is growing at a faster rate than physical ones, in the UK, with Mintel forecasting 12 per cent growth in 2017.
The growth in the market comes as an increasing number of shoppers are choosing to forgo their trip to the supermarket. Almost 29 per cent of online shoppers say that in the past 12 months they have done more of their grocery shopping on the web.
The proportion of people in the UK who say they do all their grocery shopping online has also doubled in recent years. As many as 14 per cent currently do all their grocery shopping online, up from seven per cent in 2014. Meanwhile, the proportion claiming to do most of their grocery shopping online has risen to 13 per cent, up from 10 per cent in 2014. Overall, 48 per cent of people in the UK do at least some of their grocery shopping online, up from 43 per cent who said the same in 2014.
Mintel Senior Retail Analyst Nick Carroll says online grocery is the quickest-growing grocery channel.
“Once seen as simply a service to replicate the needs of a supermarket shop online, a number of new services came to market in 2016 that have the potential to elevate online grocery beyond this barrier and adequately serve the more fluid and frequent shopping behaviours seen in the wider market,” he said.“Growth is being driven by encouraging users who have done most or some of their shopping online to do more. This suggests it’s just as crucial for online grocery retailers to engage as much with their current consumer base as it is for them to attract new shoppers to drive sales.”
Online grocery accounted for an estimated six per cent of all grocery retail sales in 2016. However, it is poised for strong growth over the next few years, forecast to account for a nine per cent share of the total grocery market in 2021.
Key to this growth, and showing the longevity of the market, Mintel research finds that younger consumers are the most likely to do their grocery shopping online: 62 per cent of people in the UK aged 25-34 are current grocery shoppers, as well as 57 per cent aged 35-44, and 56 per cent aged 16-24. What’s more, 23 per cent of people in the UK aged 25-34 currently do all their grocery shopping online, as do 20 per cent aged 35-44, and 16 per cent aged 16-24.
In comparison, just 32 per cent of consumers aged 55 and over are current online grocery shoppers, while 47 per cent of this group say they have never bought groceries online and have no interest in doing so.