LONDON — According to a consumer survey from eDigitalResearch released Friday, online grocery shoppers tend to buy fewer impulse purchases online than in store, resulting in smaller basket sizes.
The survey of 1,154 online grocery shoppers found that 29% of respondents feel that they make far fewer impulse purchases online than in store. In comparison, just 7% said that they purchase more additional impulse buys online than they do in a store, highlighting a significant potential threat for retailers and their bottom lines, especially as more and more consumers switch to online shopping.
"The growth of online has the ability to drastically hamper supermarkets, retailers and suppliers," stated Derek Eccleston, commercial director at eDigitalResearch. "With more of us becoming all the more reliant on online and digital technologies, the online grocery market is only likely to grow. These results suggest that with this online growth, supermarkets are going to see overall spend shrink," he said. "They therefore need to be working closely with suppliers to understand this new breed of grocery shopper — they need to know how they shop and why, as well as what makes them buy what they do — in an effort to encourage online shoppers to spend more."
However, the results also suggest that online shoppers are more likely to switch among various brands compared to their in-store counterparts. Of those online grocery shoppers surveyed, just 10% said that they always stick to the same brands for particular items, suggesting that there is a huge opportunity to influence people's purchase decisions and disrupt their journeys online.
Price is one of the key drivers behind brand switches, suggesting that promotions and offers are perhaps the best way to disrupt online grocery shops and encourage impulse buys. However, loyalty card promotions, search positions and product images all also have an effect on how people shop online.
"These results prove that, when it comes to buying food and drink, by understanding changing online consumer behaviours and what makes online grocery shoppers tick, suppliers and supermarkets will be able to better influence online purchase decisions, increase spend an minimise the threat that the growth of online grocery shopping poses," Eccleston said.
The results come from eDigitalResearch's recent study into the current state of online grocery shopping to help supermarkets and suppliers better understand this growing breed of consumer, the full results of which will be available later in June.