Wavemaker research finds brand loyalty swapped for convenience by the ‘Need it Now’ consumer

In a world where convenience is king, 83% of consumers are willing to swap their preferred brand when using rapid grocery delivery services, new research by Wavemaker UK has revealed. 

Launched today, Wavemaker’s “The Need It Now Revolution” report charts the rise of rapid grocery delivery services such as Getir, Gorillas and Jiffy, and explores how consumers’ usage of these services is changing their behaviours and expectations of brands. 

The ease and speed of on-demand groceries are transforming the ‘traditional’ food shop into a service more akin to using Spotify to stream music or Netflix for entertainment. Despite rapid delivery grocery services comprising a mere 9% of the delivery service landscape, half of Brits expect to use them more in the next 12 months. And Google search volume for ‘quick grocery delivery’ has jumped 243% year-on-year. 

It’s not just a passing fad either. Research suggests that after using one of the many services currently available to metropolitan consumers, users become hooked – 29% order at least once a week, with 68% claiming their lives have been made easier by the services. This is especially true for full time workers, who are 38% more likely to be users, as well as parents of young children, who are 2.5x more likely to be early adopters. 

Taking a deep dive into the UK’s addiction to convenience, the study looks at how rapid delivery has disrupted the traditional shopping journey and what the ‘Need It Now’ shopper truly values through better insight into their basket.

Its key findings include: 

  • Brand isn’t a deciding factor in the ‘Need it Now’ mindset:  In the realm of rapid grocery deliveries, fewer options make it less likely for customers to shortcut to their favourite brand. 52% of users are happy to switch if their brand isn’t available, and an additional 31% end up buying an alternative brand, although they are hesitant to do so. More generally, brand metrics drop off the usual shopping list. Just 13% of shoppers prioritised having ‘premium’ or ‘family-friendly’ brands available, preferring convenience and value factors. Low delivery charge (44%), easy ordering (34%), and good deals or special offers on products (33%) topped the list, far outweighing the draw of their ‘go-to’ branded products.
  • For men, it’s about convenience. For women, it’s about filling gaps in the weekly shop: The report found that rapid grocery delivery services have created a new shopping occasion on top of the standard weekly and top up shops. While almost two in five users (31%) have replaced a quick top-up shop with rapid grocery delivery, 41% of women see it as an additional shopping occasion on top of their traditional main and top-up shop. 39% of men, on the other hand, are using them to replace a regular weekly grocery shop altogether. This is reinforced by women being more likely to buy household products (38%) compared to men (29%), and men being more likely to purchase alcohol (20%) or confectionery and snacks (57%) compared to women (14% and 50% respectively). 
  • Rapid grocery delivery is less about indulgence and more about essentials: A common misconception is that the on-demand grocery business is just about selling beer, crisps and Haribo to drunk people on their sofas at 10 pm. But actually, fresh and frozen food (71%) was the most popular food category to purchase using rapid grocery delivery services. This is followed by store cupboard essentials (66%) and confectionery and snacks (53%).
  • The big takeaway: Gone are the days of creatively rustling up a meal with the limited contents of the fridge; consumers are more than happy to pay a premium for the items they need when they need them, rather than bulk buying for planned use throughout the week. The ability to have a single sweet potato delivered to your door on a night when you need it for your Ottolenghi recipe also has a knock-on effect on wider delivery services, with 36% claiming to order a takeaway less often as a direct result of rapid grocery delivery. 

Monica Majumdar, head of strategy, Wavemaker UK, commented: “Considering this sector is only 18 months old, grocery delivery services and the convenience they afford us are well and truly on the rise, and quickly altering the way we shop. As one shopper tweeted in our social media listening study, ‘Everyone’s addicted to Wordle, and I’m over here addicted to Getir’. As with any fast-moving sector, brands need to keep on top of consumer behaviour and this new breed of ‘need it now’ shopper.”

“If rapid grocery service delivery is more likely to be need-state driven, and therefore product first, brand loyalty isn’t everything in this space. Building trust and familiarity for your brand early on will increase your chances of making it into the consumer’s basket in these moments. Preparing well to be the brand available when the order is placed is an opportunity to steal shoppers from the safety of their own sofa.”