BERLIN: Consumers in Germany are still proving hesitant when it comes to purchasing grocery goods online, but this channel is exerting an increasing influence on their overall category buying habits.

Based on data drawn from 500 internet users, Nielsen found that 49% had bought grocery products at least once through this route. A further 60% had researched such purchases in the same way.

However, while the intention to acquire food and beverage items via the web had improved by 44% in the last two years, only 7% of the panel anticipated making similar acquisitions in the next six months.

This matched the score posted by household goods, but lagged behind skincare and cosmetics on 17%. Clothing, footwear and accessories registered 39% here.

Another 46% of interviewees had utilised social media to help inform their buying decisions. Meanwhile, 54% had read user reviews on the net, 41% had searched for bargains, 21% had sought out coupons and 6% had visited brand websites.

In all, some 16% of the internet audience in Germany visited FMCG stores online, logging an average basket size of €24.10. This can be compared with a norm of €15.12 in bricks and mortar outlets.

Nielsen also reported that, in May, 58% of visitors to online stores selling FMCG items were women. Members of this group spent an average of 15 minutes and 41 seconds on these sites.

By contrast, their male counterparts, making up the remaining 42% of the current audience base, did so for only 11 minutes 50 second apiece.

At present, the main types of products acquired through this channel are cat food, packaged coffee beans and bath and shower products, as well as toothpastes and liquids.

Data sourced from Nielsen; additional content by Warc staff