Shoppers shift from safety to convenience when buying groceries online

13 oct 2021

Erik Wallin

It's no surprise that safety was top of mind for many of those who turned to online grocery shopping when the pandemic began. We know so much more now about COVID-19, but even back in the early days, the importance of minimising human contact was clear.

From safety to convenience

34% of consumers still shop for at least some of their groceries online. That's according to the detailed report from PYMNTS and ACI Worldwide on What Consumers Expect from Their Grocery Shopping Experiences. Among millennials, that figure rises to 57%.

The majority (76%) of those shopping online for food in June 2021 cited convenience and ease as their motivations. That's an increase of 27% compared to October 2020. Meanwhile, those citing the avoidance of COVID risks as a reason for shopping online has dropped to 59%. As the report points out:

“Digital grocery shopping practices remain prevalent 18 months after the pandemic began, but ease and convenience — not safety concerns — are now their main drivers.”

Seizing the opportunity

Understanding this shift presents a huge opportunity for retailers according to Northfork Co-founder Erik Wallin:

"Consumers are sticking with the online grocery model in pursuit of ease and convenience. Retailers who can deliver this, while also cracking the issue of profitability, should do well. This is one reason that shopping by recipe delivers such good results in terms of conversions and higher basket values. It's more convenient. It makes for an easier shopping experience."

But recipe shopping doesn't just win when it comes to how easy it is for a consumer to fill their cart. The inspirational side of it is also a key factor.

"Shopping by recipes takes the pain out of trying to work out what to have for dinner," continues Wallin. "Meal suggestions based on their personal preferences and dietary requirements provide consumers with inspiration and convenience rolled into one."