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Growth in online grocery sales slowing in UK


British shoppers are still in love with the convenience of online grocery shopping, spending £12.3 billion last year; nine per cent more than the previous year. However, while online grocery sales continue to increase, the number of people shopping online has actually fallen from 48 to 45 per cent of the population between 2015 and 2018.

According to research company Mintel, while younger people are still enthusiastic about the convenience of having groceries delivered, middle aged and older shoppers are more reluctant to join the online shopping revolution, and their reluctance is growing. Just over a third of those aged 45+ report buying some groceries online, but the number of people in this age group who have “never bought groceries online and have no interest in doing so” has grown from 34 per cent in 2015 to 42 per cent in 2018.

Nick Carroll, Associate Director of Retail Research at Mintel, commented, “Online grocery is, alongside the food discounters, one of the fastest-growing segments within the wider grocery sector. However, growth is slowing and the number of users is plateauing as retailers struggle to encourage new customers to try their services. Many consumers remain reluctant to buy fresh products online, concerns around substitutions persist and delivery charges are still off-putting, particularly in a market where value is key. However, most importantly, online services are still best suited to the traditional big-basket weekly shop, at a time when consumers are increasingly shopping on a top-up or when-needed basis. That is why we are seeing more retailers launch trial services designed to tap into the potential market for same-day or small-basket online grocery delivery.”


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