WASHINGTON, N.Y. — Online grocery shopping is on the rise, with 10% of U.S. consumers now regularly buying their groceries this way, according to The NPD Group. However, consumers aren’t exclusively committed to the digital experience. Ninety-nine per cent of online grocery shoppers still shop in brick-and-mortar grocery stores.
“Consumer preferences when shopping for foods and beverages and logistical challenges are the primary reasons why consumers haven’t gone all in on online grocery shopping,” NPD said.
The top barrier to consumers opting for on-line is the desire to choose their own fresh items, followed by not wanting to pay a delivery fee. Forty-six per cent who are lapsed online grocery shoppers or have never shopped online said they prefer physically walking through a store because it reminds them of what else they need, NPD said. Additionally, 46% of consumers who are not keen on online grocery shopping said they feel it is faster to go to the store.
The benefits of online grocery shopping — such as speed, not waiting in lines and not needing to leave home — are enticing a growing number of consumers, but not enough to convince them to only shop online, NPD said. Groceries may follow the same path as categories such as electronics, where consumers still want to see each item up close.
“With major brick-and-mortar grocery stores announcing click and collect and various speedy delivery options, the line between physical and online is blurring and, as a result, consumers are getting the best of both worlds,” said Darren Seifer, food and beverage industry analyst for NPD. “There is also a place for pure-play e-commerce grocers, but it looks like, as of now, consumers want a seamless experience between brick-and-mortar and e-commerce.”