One in seven Brits now do all their grocery shopping online – a 50 per cent rise since 2014 – new research has revealed.
The proportion of households that have abandoned the physical store has risen from seven to 14 per cent in the past three years, according to the Mintel market research agency, with 48 per cent of consumers doing at least some grocery shopping online. This is up from 43 per cent in 2014.
Mintel predicts that the market will grow by a further 12 per cent this year, after a 15 per cent rise in 2016. By contrast, overall retail sales grew by just 1.5 per cent.
Online grocery sales are forecast to reach £11.1 billion in 2017, up from £9.9bn in 2016.
Nick Carroll, senior retail analyst at Mintel, said: “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 added: “Growth is being driven by encouraging users who have done most or some of their shopping online to do more. This suggests that 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.”
While younger consumers are currently the most engaged group in the online market, same day delivery is a pivotal service that they, in particular, are demanding.
As many as half (53 per cent) of all Brits who shop online for groceries say it is important to have the ability to have online grocery orders delivered on the same day, rising to over two in three (71 per cent) consumers aged 16-24 and 65 per cent of those aged 25-34.
The research also suggests that the majority of Brits are keen to see some new players in the market. As many three in five (60 per cent) of those who shop online for groceries say they would be happy to purchase a full weekly shop online from a discounter.