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Online grocery purchases lag behind

Commonwealth BankFar more consumers are purchasing food and liquor instore, as grocery purchases continue to lag behind other fast-growing consumer categories online, new research has shown.

According to Commonwealth Bank’s (CBA) latest Retail Insights Report, only 15 per cent of consumers purchased groceries online in the three months to July, compared to 93 per cent making a grocery purchase in-store.

The data, based on two online surveys, one of 506 decision makers at small, medium and large retailers and another of 1,531 shoppers carried out in July, found that only 13 per cent of consumers purchased Liquor online in the three months to July, while 73 per cent bought booze in-store. Nevertheless, CBA said segment retailers continue to invest in online channels, with overall sales volume increasing 18 per cent over the last twelve months.

“Retailers are strongly focused on improving the purchasing process and delivery to continue the trend,” CBA wrote.

48 per cent of segment retailers are focusing on improving checkout processes to generate more online sales, while 45 per cent are focusing on enabling customers to choose delivery times and 51 per cent now offer free delivery.

But current purchase frequencies compare poorly to leading online categories such as books, gaming music and media, which 41 consumers had purchased in the three months to July (compared to 44 per cent in-store). 44 per cent of retailers surveyed plan to increase their store numbers over the next twelve months, while 44 per cent expect no change and 12 per cent are consolidating.

“Food & Liquor retailers are leading the way in enhancing their in-store experience. While staff development and improved store layout have had the most positive impact, many are also embracing better back office technology (75%) and greater flexibility with payment options (74%),” CBA wrote.

About the surveys

Within the 1,531 shoppers surveyed online by CBA in July 223 were Gen Z (16-21), 315 were Gen Y (22-35), 335 were Gen X (36-50), 330 were Baby Boomers (51-70), and 328 were Pre-Boomers (70+). Consumer data was weighted to derive a nationally representative data-set. The 506 retailers surveyed ranged from decision makers at businesses with turnover’s less than $1 million to over $500 million in four key sectors: food & liquor, clothing & footwear, homewares & hardware and other retail. ACA research conducted the surveys on behalf of The Commonwealth Bank.

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