Grocery sales go online in UK

30 November 2010

LONDON: Online grocery sales are set to increase rapidly in the UK during the next five years, according to a new forecast.

IGD, the research group, suggested the industry's total e-commerce revenues should climb from £4.8bn ($7.5bn; €5.7bn) today, hitting approximately £9.5bn in 2015.

As a result, the web could take 5.2% of the UK market by this date, measured against just 3.2% at present.

Based on a survey among 1,007 people, the company reported that 7% of consumers now make all their category purchases using the net.

Looking forward, 13% of participants intended to follow such a route more frequently in the coming 12 months, rising to 22% regarding 18-34 year olds.

By contrast, 9% planned to reduce their activity across the same timeframe.

"Online grocery retailing is already growing at a phenomenal rate and there is still plenty of potential for significant expansion," said Joanne Denney-Finch, chief executive of IGD.

"Although online has a small share of the overall grocery market, it will be the fastest growing channel."

While greater confidence concerning buying food, drink and similar goods via the web is a major factor, initiatives like creating mobile applications is also playing an important role.

"Retailers are driving online growth through new developments, such as 'click and collect', introducing smartphone apps and building stores specifically to cater for online orders," said Denney-Finch.

"Wider delivery coverage and better home internet connections are some of the other reasons why internet grocery retail has the potential to grow significantly."

Data sourced from IGD; additional content by Warc staff