June 20, 2014, 4:45 PM

U.K. consumers buy groceries online, but only a third say it is easy

A new study uncovers the buying habits and opinions of U.K. online grocery shoppers.

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Three-quarters of U.K. consumers have shopped online for groceries and 40% of those shoppers do so on a regular basis. However, just one-third of grocery shoppers rate their experience as easy, according to a recent survey by research firm eDigitalResearch,

EDigitalResearch polled 2,000 consumers about their online grocery shopping habits and specifically looked at the behaviors of those that use web sites to purchase food and drink at least every three months.  

On average, three-quarters (77%) of British online grocery shoppers say they take 15 minutes or more to complete an online grocery order, with one in five (21%) taking over half an hour. This, eDigital research says, suggests that the majority of grocery shoppers still spend some time browsing for everyday items online.

Half of online grocery shoppers responding to the survey say online grocery shopping takes too long, indicating a demand from consumers for retailers to invest, develop and improve the online grocery experience, eDigital Research says.

Other findings include:

  • Less than 10% of online grocery shoppers stick to the same brands. Around half (53%) of those surveyed say that they switch between brands on a regular basis.
  • Just 10% of online grocery shoppers feel they are presented with too much advertising when they shop online for food and drink items, suggesting that retailers may want to offer more advertisements and promotions to drive sales.
  • Saved lists or favorites are the most common way to navigate around a retailer’s site, with around one-third (35%) of web grocery shoppers stating they use these navigational tools most often. 27% use the search box and 16% use promotions or offers to help guide their shopping trips.

U.K. consumers now spend 6.5 billion pounds (US $11.06 billion) buying groceries online, according to research firm IDG. Getting a better understanding of how consumers interact with online grocers and what shoppers like and dislike can help retailers grow online grocery sales, eDigitalResearch says.


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