As online grocery approaches what it describes as a “tipping point” – a time when “buying peanut butter and paper towels online could be the rule rather than the exception” – a new report from consumer insights firm Field Agent Canada is painting a fuller picture of shopper attitudes and habits.
Among the study’s findings:
- 20% of U.K. shoppers now purchase more than half of their groceries and household consumables online, compared with 6% in the U.S. and only 2% in Canada;
- While 71% of Canadians purchase clothes online, only 21% purchase packaged groceries, and just 14% purchase fresh groceries. That last number compares with 45% in the U.K. and 42% in Australia;
- Amazon is by far the most popular online destination for Canadians when it comes to groceries/household consumables, used by 77% of shoppers. Walmart is second at 46%;
- Among people who spent at least $30 on groceries/household consumables from an online retailer, 57% took an inventory of their kitchen cabinets/refrigerator prior to shopping, while 56% took requests from household members and 21% searched for digital or paper coupons;
- However, 65% of online shoppers made at least one unplanned purchase online – with 31% of that group saying they purchased fresh produce, followed by salty snacks (23%), frozen meals (18%) and candy/chocolate (14%);
- Nearly two-thirds (59%) of online shoppers indicated they were either completely or very likely to make an in-store trip to complete their shopping after shopping online;
- The leading reasons given for a follow-up trip to a brick-and-mortar location: 37% need to buy items from a different retailer; 33% don’t like buying certain items online or want to take advantage of sales/coupons; 24% forgot something while shopping online, and 22% said some online items were unavailable;
- 63% of online shoppers used smartphone apps in the planning-shopping-purchase cycle, while 22% used a laptop and 15% used a smartphone browser;
- In a U.S. survey of the Instacart/Kroger shopping experience, 75% indicated that it was easier than expected to use Instacart online, while 95% rated the fresh items they received as either “extremely” or “very” fresh, and 75% of first-time users indicated they would be likely to use the service again.
- Only 13% of the 2,047 shoppers surveyed by Field Agent indicated they have an online subscription that automatically re-orders packaged groceries and/or household consumables. Among those who do have a household subscription, 81% use Amazon, while Walmart is a distant second at 11%;
The findings are based on 14 studies with consumers in six countries – including 250 Canadians – conducted through the Field Agent mobile app between Feb. 20 and March 20.