Nielsen: Intent to buy food, beverages online continues to grow

NEW YORK — Global consumers' intent to buy food and beverages online has jumped 44% in two years, and more than one-quarter (26%) said they planned to purchase food and beverage products by way of a device with Internet access — such as a computer, mobile phone or tablet — in the next three to six months, according to Nielsen.

The "Nielsen Global Survey of Digital's Influence on Grocery Shopping," which polled more than 28,000 consumers in 56 countries throughout Asia-Pacific, Europe, Latin America, the Middle East, Africa and North America, noted that 61% of global respondents indicated using the Internet for grocery shopping research in the past month, such as checking prices or reading a consumer review. Additionally, 45% used the Internet to get information about a grocery product; 43% searched for deals; 33% read a grocery retailer's promotional circular/flyer; 33% looked for coupons; 26% browsed a manufacturer website; 18% provided feedback through social media and 11% used a digital shopping list.

"While nonconsumer packaged goods products, such as clothing, books and consumer electronics report the highest penetration for digital shopping intentions, online influence for CPG products is clearly growing," Nielsen strategic initiatives president John Burbank said. "Marketers need to determine which consumers are embracing digital for their grocery shopping needs so they can focus on the right shoppers with the right digital strategies to improve consumers' online experience."

When it came to the length of time respondents conducted grocery shopping-related activities on a connected device, nearly half (47%) reported spending at least 25% of their total research time for grocery shopping-related activities on a connected device, while 23% indicated spending at least half their research time on the Internet. For those respondents who said they used the Internet for grocery shopping-related activities, more than half (63% to 91%, depending on type of activity) of global respondents did so weekly or monthly. One-third of global respondents indicated using the Internet daily to conduct research (37%), provide feedback via social media (33%), look for deals (31%) and search for product information (31%).

"Online shopping delivers key attributes shoppers demand, such as convenience, value and choice," Burbank said. "However, the Internet and more specifically e-commerce, will be successful to varying degrees of impact on consumer packaged goods depending on the product category. For these CPG categories, shoppers are more likely to adopt a multichannel approach, where online shopping becomes a supplement to traditional brick-and-mortar retailing."

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