Younger consumers are most interested in personalized online grocery offers.
The UK has adopted online grocery shopping faster than many other markets worldwide. Verdict Research found that in 2012, 4.9% of food and grocery sales in the UK were made online. This is a small share, but significantly higher than the 1% of US grocery sales Booz & Company estimated happened online in 2012.
In keeping with this growing comfort with online grocery shopping, a significant percentage of UK internet users reported an affinity for ordering groceries online and getting them delivered at home. Just under two-thirds of internet users surveyed told retail software company Symphony EYC in January 2013 that they favored this method of grocery shopping, a higher percentage than among internet users in Germany or France.
Other types of online ordering with various pick-up options got significantly less interest, suggesting that when UK consumers shop online, it is the at-home delivery that plays the trump card.
Similarly, the top two benefits of online grocery shopping according to UK internet users were avoiding waiting on lines and the quickness of online grocery shopping, cited by 70% and 39% of respondents, respectively. Better prices fell much farther down the list, cited by only 21% of internet users.
But while convenience is the one standout benefit to online grocery shopping, consumers in the UK said there were other options that would further improve the experience and provide an added incentive for online buying. The greatest percentage of respondents (50%) said they were interested in personalized promotions of favorite products. Offering price comparison services, being able to search for product availability based on current location, and the choice of different options for pick-up and delivery were also popular options.
When asked about what would make them consider grocery shopping on their mobile phone in particular, those between 18- to 34-years-old expressed the most interest in being able to price compare with other stores, using loyalty points and receiving personalized offers.
And as for privacy concerns that may arise when retailers contact consumers with offers based on their purchase history, there seemed to be very little wariness of online stores knowing too much. Over 60% of consumers across all age groups said that as long as their data was safe, it was fine for a grocery retailer to know about their habits and use that information to provide appropriate product suggestions.