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Online groceries are habit-forming


Although not many consumers are currently shopping for groceries online, those who do are likely to be repeat customers.

According to “The 2016 Online Grocery Shopper,” a survey of more than 500 U.S. online consumers from Toronto-based grocery technology provider Unata, 8% of consumers bought groceries via Internet in 2015.

However, 93% of those shoppers said they are “likely” or “very likely” to buy groceries online in 2016.

In addition, 39% of respondents who purchased groceries online said their primary grocer does not offer an online shopping option, indicating lost sales and loyalty opportunities for those primary grocers.

Looking at demographics, men (18%) are slightly more likely than women (15%) to say they are “very likely” or “somewhat likely” to buy groceries online. Generationally a leading 8% of GenX shoppers age 35-54 say they are “very likely” to purchase groceries online in the next year. This is more than double the percentages of Millennials age 18-34 (3%) and Baby Boomers 55 and older (2.5%).

Consumers with annual household incomes of more than $100,000 are 50% more likely than average to have shopped for groceries online in 2015. However, the fastest-growing bracket of new online grocery shoppers is the $50,000-$100,000 annual household income range.

Consumers with children are also much more likely to participate in online grocery shopping. They are both twice as likely to have purchased online groceries in the past year and say they are likely to do so in the coming year than consumers without children.

Furthermore, 4% of shoppers reported being very likely to switch to a different grocer for an excellent e-commerce experience, and 12% reported being somewhat likely to do so. Not surprisingly, 28% of those who have shopped online for groceries before reported being very likely to switch for a great online experience, and 36% reported being somewhat likely.

This further indicates that shopping for groceries online can be a habit-forming experience. To contrast, only 8% of those who had not shopped online before reported being very likely to switch.

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