UK grocery sales boosted by consumers seeking value

Grocery purchases are now the third most popular category bought online after travel and books with three quarters of UK consumers now using the internet for buying and researching household groceries, according to a new study.

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75 per cent of UK consumers are using the internet for online grocery shopping as more people flock to the web to find better deals.

The Nielsen Global Survey of Digital Influence on Global Shopping reveals that UK consumers are flocking to the internet to save money on groceries.

The study of 28,000 consumers in 56 countries found almost half of UK grocery consumers (48 percent) look for deals, 30 percent go to coupon websites and 25 percent compare prices. Among those looking for grocery coupons, more than a quarter (26 percent) do so on a daily basis.

Mike Watkins, head of UK retailer insights at Nielsen, says: “Grocery shopping and the Internet go together like bread and butter for three-quarters of Brits. It shows just how aware supermarkets and brands need to be about how it impacts their bottom line – not just in what products people buy, but the prices they pay and where they get them from.

“One in every ten Brits online uses the web for grocery shopping research every day, while eight percent visit a coupon site daily for grocery deals. The growth in smartphones and apps makes this easier than ever. Retailers cannot ignore trends such as that.”

Additionally, the survey revealed almost half (47 per cent) of UK shoppers use the internet for grocery research, such as checking prices and special offers at different retailers.

Brands are increasingly looking at how they bridge the gap between shoppers searching online for product information to actual sales. Indeed, snacks business Kellogg’s has launched a virtual store in partnership with all the main UK supermarkets in the hopes of converting a greater number of users searching for its products online into sales, while premium chocolate maker Lindt is beefing up its m-commerce offering.

Key findings from Nielsen study

  • 46 per cent of UK consumers who buy or research grocery shopping online say the Internet now accounts for at least one-quarter of their total online and offline grocery activity time.
  • 27 per cent of UK shoppers plan to buy food and drink products online in the coming months.
  • 43 percent of European consumers look for deals online, whilst 22 percent look for coupons.

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