Convenience is everything as online shopping patterns level out

Apr 29, 2022

Louise Taylor

From the US to the UK, shoppers are sticking with their new online grocery buying habits. Forced to shop online initially due to the pandemic, consumers are now staying by choice.

"Around the world, we're seeing online grocery sales level out," comments Erik Wallin, Co-founder of Northfork. "Convenience is everything, and shoppers have found that buying groceries online is ultra-convenient. That's especially true when they can shop by recipes matched to their personal preferences."

Online grocery trends in the US

In the US, Brick Meets Click reports that half of households bought groceries online in Q1. They completed 2.7 orders per month on average. Overall, the monthly online grocery market generated sales worth $8.1 billion.

On the other side of The Pond...

The picture is similar in the UK, with Kantar reporting that online shopping habits are, "beginning to settle at a new baseline" following pandemic-driven lifestyle adaptations. In 2021, shoppers made 40 million fewer trips per month to the supermarket than in 2019.

This highlights the shift from in-store to online grocery shopping. Digital sales have levelled out, accounting for 12.4% of overall grocery sales in Q4. One in five UK households now orders their groceries online consistently.

Meanwhile, NielsenIQ Ecommerce Benchmark figures indicate growing consumer trust when ordering online. Fresh pizza, salads and cakes enjoyed increases in online sales of 17%, 11% and 10% respectively in the 12 weeks to 9 October 2021. Online shoppers are, it seems, becoming more confident in both the range and the quality of fresh products that can be brought to their door.

"This blend of quality, trust and convenience is important," points out Northfork's Erik Wallin. "On both sides of the Atlantic, we've seen retailers convince consumers to stick with their online services. The opportunity now is to evolve that online offering even further."