Internet sales of food and grocery products will reach £11bn within five years, predicts the grocery think-tank IGD.
Online sales will nearly double from the current value of £5.6bn, according to IGD ShopperVista research published at IGD’s Trading in a Digital World conference.
This represents a compound annual growth rate of 14.6% between 2012 and 2017.
Fastest growing sector
Joanne Denney-Finch, chief executive, IGD, said: “Although online only currently represents 3.4% of the overall UK grocery market, it is the fastest growing sector – set to grow by a phenomenal 98% over the next five years.
The survey also revealed:
- 44% of those surveyed said they expect to use the internet to buy their groceries in the next five to 10 years.
- 58% of shoppers said that technology is good at helping them save money when doing their food and grocery shopping.
- 54% said it helps to save time.
- 46% of online shoppers would be encouraged to buy more if personalised promotions were emailed to them.
Popular with young shoppers
Denney-Finch said: “Smartphone shopping is certainly popular with young shoppers, with six-out-of-10 [57%] under-35s saying they are already doing it or keen to do so. One way retailers are capitalising on this trend is through the development of interactive virtual shopping walls.”
While acknowledging grocery is still in its infancy, the market is evolving at “a blistering pace”, she added.
Food companies should view their websites as digital assets that not only sell groceries, said Denney-Finch. “They should also add to the shopping experience through initiatives such as product reviews and ratings, or live chat with members of staff.”
Meanwhile, earlier this week, FoodManufacture.co.uk reported Morrisons’ plans to launch its first online retail offering in a bid to raise millions of pounds worth of sales.