Online grocery shopping to double in five years in the UK

New research from international grocery analysts IGD forecasts consumers will spend £7.2bn on food and grocery shopping online by 2014 – nearly double the figure for 2009.

In 2009, 13% of adults shopped online for groceries – an increase of 63% on 2006.

Three out of five (61%) online grocery shoppers use more than one online store for their food shopping. Half (49%) would like to try other supermarket websites, but many are put off by the perceived effort involved.

Online Shopping 2009, just published by IGD, also found that:

30% of online grocery shoppers purchase less often than once a month

24% intend to try an alternative online supermarket in three next three months, and 25% would like to but are put off by the effort involved

34% expect to shop in a variety of outlets, including online, in the next five to10 years (compared to 27% in 2007)

A further 34% expect to only shop in a supermarket for everything, and 7% expect to shop just online for food and groceries

Joanne Denney-Finch, chief executive, IGD, said: “Our research shows there is a great opportunity for grocery retailers and manufacturers to encourage shoppers to try online food shopping.

“People are increasingly mixing the channels they use for their weekly or monthly shop. Many are choosing to visit their local store on a regular basis, while purchasing a number of bulk items, like tinned foods and toiletries, online less frequently.

“The future of grocery shopping is ‘multi-channel’, with people shopping in different ways and using various outlets – whether convenience stores, online or hypermarkets.”

According to the Office for National Statistics, 64% of people have shopped online at some point, but only 13% have bought food or groceries in the last year. More than six in 10 (61%) current and potential online shoppers said removing delivery charges would be a key trigger for increasing online grocery shopping.