Aussies still sceptical about online food shopping

groceryDespite the ever-increasing popularity of online retail, the clear majority of Australians continue to do grocery shopping in-store rather than online, according to Roy Morgan Research.

In the 12 months to June 2015, 26 per cent of grocery shoppers surveyed agreed that ‘I’d consider doing some of my grocery shopping on the Internet in the next 12 months’. However, for many that is as far as it got with just 3 per cent of grocery buyers shopping online in any given four-week period.

“The great disparity between the proportion of grocery buyers who say they’d consider doing their supermarket shopping online in the next 12 months, and the proportion who actually go on to do so, speaks volumes about the state of online grocery shopping in Australia,” said Michele Levine, CEO, Roy Morgan Research.

“While consumers are clearly not opposed to the idea, they seem to be having trouble putting it into practice.”

This year, Aussie Farmers Direct launched The General Store, an online-only supermarket stocking grocery brands at low prices, aimed to provide competition to the likes of Coles and Woolworths. Currently, almost 140,000 consumers say they mainly or sometimes shop with them, or have done so in the last four weeks; not far behind Coles Online (180,000 shoppers). However, both have a way to go before they catch up with Woolworths Online (237,000).

“One of the great things about online shopping in general is its convenience, but when it comes to groceries, this isn’t necessarily the case,” Levine said. “But with the rumoured entry of US e-commerce colossus Amazon into Australia, will consumers be converted to online grocery shopping once and for all? Speculation is already rife about the ramifications of an Amazon expansion Down Under, with the local grocery market (both online and in-store) being just one retail sector that stands to be disrupted.

“It will also be interesting to track the success of Woolworths’ recently announced partnership with Australia Post to install more than 500 parcel lockers for their ‘Click-and-collect’ services, providing an extra 24/7 delivery option for their online customers.

“As our latest State of the Nation report reveals, there were some significant shifts in Australian retail last financial year, with supermarkets and other grocery retailers seeing their fair share of change. No doubt, the coming 12 months will bring even more developments. Whether a move to online grocery shopping is one of them remains to be seen.”

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