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Australia lags in online grocery

Online shopping concept

Australian consumers are not as active as their global counterparts when it comes to ordering groceries online, according to the latest Nielsen Global E-commerce Report.

The study, which polled more than 30,000 consumers around the world, showed just 12 per cent of Australians engage with digital platforms for their grocery needs, which is 13 percentage points lower than the global average of 25 per cent, and well behind the Asia Pacific average of 37 per cent.

This downward trend is further modelled in the click and collect services that retailers such as Coles and Woolworths readily offer for grocery purchases, with just five per cent of Australian consumers saying they would order groceries online and pick them up using a drive through service.

Despite these low figures, more than half (55 per cent) of Australian consumers say online order and delivery is a service they are willing to use in the future, and 53 per cent said they were willing to use click and collect in the future.

Nielsen’s Homescan Shopper Panel data showed that online represented 1.9 per cent of all grocery sales in Australia for the year ending 13 June 2015, and growth is substantial; up by 29.3 per cent for the year.

“The retailers who will win the most of this prize are those that will leverage technology to enhance the existing shopping experience and meet consumers’ evolving desires with a trustworthy service and by offering real convenience. Consumers are ready for it, so retailers should meet that openness to technology,” Megan Treston, director in Nielsen’s Retail Industry Group, said.

“As smartphone ownership and usage reaches saturation point in Australia, mobile commerce opportunities will also thrive and contribute to strong growth of digital grocery sales. We recently predicted the online channel will be responsible for over $1 billion of sales growth the industry is likely to see over the next five years, and this research shows an existing appetite that is waiting to be nurtured if consumer needs are accurately met,” said Treston.

“Retailers and manufacturers can add value by providing digital tools to help consumers take control of their shopping experience while also increasing sales potential. Mobile in particular can tip the scales in favour of increased shopper control, empowering them to shape the shopping experience more than ever before. Introducing digital strategies into the instore experience is not just a nice to have—these options can increase dwell time, engagement levels, basket size, and shopper satisfaction.”

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