Online grocery shopping struggles to maintain growth

Online grocery shopping could be on the decline as retailers struggle to entice new shoppers to the format and shopping habits continue to change.

According to a new study from market research firm Mintel, the rate of growth for online grocery shopping slowed last year.

In 2018, 45 per cent of shoppers in the UK said they did their grocery shopping online, down from 49 per cent in 2016, while a further 42 per cent of older people said they had never shopped online and didn’t intend to do so.

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This decline is understood to be down to a number of reasons, with 73 per cent of those who don’t shop online stating they preferred to choose fresh products themselves, and a further 24 per cent stating delivery charges were too high.

Meanwhile 18 per cent said they were averse to being subject to a minimum spending cap, and a significant 63 per cent said they had experienced an issue with an online order over the past year.

“Growth is slowing and the number of users is plateauing as retailers struggle to encourage new customers to try their services,” Mintel’s associate director of retail research Nick Carroll said.

“Most importantly, online services are still best suited to the traditional big-basket weekly shop, at a time when consumers are increasingly shopping on a top-up or when-needed basis.”

Despite the dwindling levels of growth, online grocery retail is still expected to represent 10 per cent of the market by 2023, valued at around £19.8 billion, up from seven per cent in 2018.

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