Wednesday, April 24, 2024

Shift to online grocery remains to be seen

Despite the ever-increasing popularity of online retail, the vast majority of Australians continue to shop for groceries in-store rather than online.

According to the recently launched ‘State of the Nation Spotlight on Retail’ report from Roy Morgan Research, while 26 per cent of grocery buyers surveyed in June 2015 said they would consider doing some of their grocery shopping on the internet in the following 12 months, just three per cent of grocery-buyer respondents used the online channel for their supermarket shopping in any given four-week period.

Roy Morgan Research CEO Michele Levine says the great disparity between sentiment and action speaks volumes about the state of online grocery shopping in Australia.

“While consumers are clearly not opposed to the idea, they seem to be having trouble putting it into practice,” she said.

“One of the great things about online shopping in general is its convenience, but when it comes to groceries, this isn’t necessarily the case. With all of the scrolling, searching for products by keywords rather than spotting them on the shelves, being organised enough so you know exactly what you want rather than grabbing items as you see them, it can be quite a challenge.

“But with the rumoured entry of US e-commerce colossus Amazon into Australia, will consumers be converted to online grocery shopping once and for all? Speculation is already rife about the ramifications of an Amazon expansion Down Under, with the local grocery market [both online and in-store] being just one retail sector that stands to be disrupted.

“It will also be interesting to track the success of Woolworths’ recently announced partnership with Australia Post to install more than 500 parcel lockers for their click-and-collect services, providing an extra 24-seven delivery option for their online customers.

“As our latest State of the Nation report reveals, there were some significant shifts in Australian retail last financial year, with supermarkets and other grocery retailers seeing their fair share of change. No doubt, the coming 12 months will bring even more developments. Whether a move to online grocery shopping is one of them remains to be seen.”

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