Over half of UK consumers now purchase groceries online

A study from Spryker has found that over half of UK consumers (60%) buy at least a portion of their groceries online.

A further 16% now order all or most of their groceries via the internet, according to Spryker’s UK Online Grocery Report 2022.

The research was conducted in partnership with market research firm Appinio, surveyed 2,500 consumers from across the UK on their experiences and opinions of grocery shopping.

Data found that despite the UK online grocery sector’s robust nature, there are still opportunities for expansion in the £200 billion industry.

Around 80% of UK consumers say they would do more food shopping online if the experience was improved, and 28% plan to shop mostly online within the next two years.

Home delivery is further cited as the preferred channel (23%) over pick-up in store (6.6%).

“With the cost-of-living crisis shrinking consumer budgets, customers are increasingly looking for the best deals – both online and in-store. According to our research, shoppers at low-cost supermarkets are crying out for online services. These retailers could benefit hugely by offering internet ordering and home delivery,” Spryker CEO Boris Lokschin said.

“The UK’s online grocery consumer has high demands, and they’re hungry for new experiences. If providers can deliver on product – with wider variety and higher availability – coupled with an exceptional customer experience, they stand to win these consumers over.

“One challenge they will face is ensuring existing in-store services remain viable as focus shifts online. To solve this, retailers should invest in technology infrastructure that seamlessly links on- and offline channels to ensure that customers keep coming back, whether in-person or digitally.”

When it comes to brand recognition, 77% of those surveyed recognised Uber Eats, putting it on an equal footing with Just Eat; Deliveroo followed in third place with 74%.

However, despite considerable investment in the UK market, Amazon was only identified by 63% as an online grocery provider.

Looking at newer challenger brands, Gorillas and Getir were recognised by 17% and 21% respectively, whilst other on-demand providers (Zapp, GoPuff, Jiffy) fell between 5% and 15%.

“The last three years have seen massive growth in the e-food sector, but there’s still a great deal of untapped potential for retailers to explore,” Lokschin said.

“Online grocery shopping in the UK is currently driven by 35–44-year-olds, who spend over a third of their grocery budgets online. However, older consumers are fast becoming online converts – in fact, over 55s are the age group most likely to shop exclusively online.

“For retailers looking to attract new customers, composable commerce will be central. By choosing best of breed services and integrating them rapidly, providers can create better digital experiences and outpace competitors.”

As inflation continues to grip the nation, more and more consumers are looking for cheaper options when shopping.

Research found that 22% of online UK shoppers reported heavy cuts to their spending in health food stores, with another 19.3% spending less at local farm shops and open-air markets.

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