£1.2bn of weekly supermarket shopper spend at risk from poor on-site search, study shows

The ease with which shoppers can find products on a supermarket’s website is now a top five factor influencing the behaviour and loyalty of almost a quarter (24%) of Brits, according to new data released today by Algolia.

And one in three (34%) say they’ve actually ditched their primary online supermarket for a competitor which allows them to search and find items more easily, equating to 19 million people. This is more prevalent amongst 16-24 year olds, 50% of whom have switched.

It also appears supermarkets failing to offer an intuitive, fast and effective on-site search and click-and-collect option on their website may be losing in-store customers too as people adopt ‘hybrid shopping’ habits.

39% of shoppers say they would consider switching the supermarket they usually visit in person to another if it offered better online search, allowing them to check the availability of products in advance before visiting and/or make use of a click-and-collect service.

Subrata Chakrabarti, VP Product Marketing and Strategy at Algolia, said: “It’s shocking that British supermarkets could be churning the equivalent of £1.2billion of annualised spend by not helping customers find what they need quickly through effective site search and personalisation.  The boom in online grocery shopping shows no sign of slowing post-pandemic and we’re also seeing the rapid growth of instant delivery apps across the UK, meaning people are more demanding of speed and convenience than ever before.

“Every year, retail brands spend tens of millions on advertising to get people to their websites, so why wouldn’t you give them the best possible tools to quickly find exactly what they want once they’ve arrived? If supermarkets want to retain and attract customers – both online and in-store – taking site search seriously is a must.”