Online grocery penetration in the UK jumps to 56%, Evolution Insights report shows

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Online growth

Online growth highlighted in Evolution Insights report

Penetration of online grocery shopping in the UK has increased to 56% from 45% in 2013, according to a recent report by independent shopper research agency Evolution Insights.

Its Online Food & Grocery: The Shopper Perspective 2014 study found online is the fastest growing channel, and the UK is one of the most sophisticated online grocery channels in the world – currently worth around £5.6bn and growing. The report’s findings were consistent with this trend, as 32% of shoppers said they plan to shop more for food and groceries online next year.

“Convenience is key – the ability to shop anytime and have delivery at a suitable time is extremely important to grocery shoppers,” said Craig Bradley, managing director at Evolution Insights.

“The way grocery shopping is conducted online has changed over the years, becoming more planned and less impulse. Shoppers see the online channel as a way to moderate spend by avoiding certain categories that they may have been tempted to buy in-store. What was worth noting from the study was both online and in-store average spend (for a main shopping mission) has decreased in the past year. This is due to the continued rise in top-up shopping.”

The report highlighted Tesco’s troubles, its shopper share (the retailer shoppers say is their primary store) fell to 45% from 49% in the previous year. But Tesco isn’t the only retailer to lose shopper share, Sainsbury’s lost 2%, down to 16%. The report identifies Asda as the only online grocer to gain shopper share, up 3% from 2013 to 23%. The figures exclude new entrants into the market, such as Morrisons, which recorded a 5% shopper share).

Over half (56%) of shoppers said they have abandoned a shopping basket mid-shop, the main reason stated was “I ran out of time/had something else to do”.