In Brief

Why Brits are falling out of love with online grocery shopping

Survey cites delivery charges and not being able to choose fresh products for decline

Fewer Brits are using the internet to order their supermarket shopping, according to new research.

Last year, 45% of consumers said they shopped for groceries online, down from 49% in 2016, according to analysts Mintel.

The survey of 2,000 internet users found that the most common reason why consumers do not shop online is that they prefer to choose fresh products themselves (73%), while nearly two-thirds of online grocery shoppers said they had had an issue with an online grocery order in the past year.

Nearly a quarter - 24% - of reluctant online shoppers thought delivery charges were too high, while 18% did not like being subject to minimum spending levels.

“Many people are also choosing to support the employees working in their local food store and, where possible, support smaller, independent food shops,” reports This is Money.

The survey also “found evidence of a disparity between enthusiastic younger people and sceptical older shoppers who were suspicious of online grocery shopping”, says the BBC.

In total 42% of older people surveyed said they had never bought groceries online and had no interest in doing so.

Mintel’s associate director of retail research, Nick Carroll, also noted that not all recent shopping trends are working in favour of the internet.

He said: “Online services are still best suited to the traditional big-basket weekly shop, at a time when consumers are increasingly shopping on a top-up or when-needed basis.”

Last year, online grocery deliveries made up 7% of the whole retail sector, with a total value of £12.3bn. Mintel said that, despite the slowdown, this proportion was forecast to hit 10% by 2023, with sales rising to £19.8bn.

Online grocery shopping “is an increasingly important factor in the strategies of big food retailers, notably with Marks & Spencer spending £750m to acquire a 50% share of online firm Ocado’s retail business”, says the BBC.

Carroll said: “Online grocery is, alongside the food discounters, one of the fastest-growing segments within the wider grocery sector.

“However, growth is slowing and the number of users is plateauing as retailers struggle to encourage new customers to try their services.”

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