Confectionery suppliers have huge online opportunity, says Kantar Media Compete

Few UK shoppers buy confectionery online, according to the latest Online Shopper Intelligence report from Kantar Media Compete.

It reveals only 12% of the 7m online grocery shoppers in the UK visit a confectionery related page online, and just half of those actually buy any confectionery online. With nearly all adults (91%) in Kantar Media’s TGI survey claiming to purchase confectionery, these findings highlight a massive opportunity for confectionery manufacturers to improve their online retail presence and consequently sales.
Of the three leading supermarket websites, attracts the highest number of confectionery shoppers – with 59% visiting the supermarket’s confectionery section. This is 42% at and 19% at Tesco’s share of confectionery buyers is also 13% higher than its share of total online grocery purchasers, making it clear it is more effective at both attracting confectionery shoppers and converting those shoppers to buyers. Both Asda and Sainsbury’s’ websites have lower shares of confectionery purchasers.
The research also reveals substantially differing shopping behaviours across the three websites. Internal search is a popular tool with confectionery shoppers on and with 38% and 25% using it respectively. Whilst only 4% of confectionery shoppers on use the search bar, most of them (67%) search for branded confectionery products, compared to 39% who search for unbranded search terms such as chocolate, sweets, mint or gum.  In contrast, 62% of visitors to Tesco and Asda’s online stores are more likely to search for unbranded terms while 58% look for their favourite branded product at Tesco and 53% at Asda.
“With so many forces driving total online shopping frequency, impulse categories are set to grow. But at the moment Confectionery is harder to find online and easier to miss if it’s not on the shopping list. There is a huge opportunity for confectionery manufacturers to make a greater appearance in online grocery baskets,” said Kantar Media Compete’s client services director and report author Sandy Livingstone.
Sites are currently so transactional that it’s not surprising to find special offers driving confectionery purchase. But retailers and manufacturers could both gain from working together to develop a more tailored, and shopper-centric approach. This could include intercepting traffic at the right stage to serve a more impulse friendly product assortment , tailoring promotions to the type of shopper at each store, or looking specifically at how they search for confectionery items,” he said.
Other research highlights included:
  • Use of favourites and search varies by retailer – the report reveals some notable differences in how confectionery shoppers use these feature across supermarket websites Favourites are less used by confectionery shoppers at for example (17% compared to 42% at and Only 4% of shoppers at Sainsbury use internal search compared to 25% at Asda and 38% at Tesco
  • Special offers are a key driver – for all online confectionery shoppers

The full Online Shopper Intelligence report can be downloaded from: