Online grocery sales set to double

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Online grocery sales are set to hit £11.2bn in 2016, almost twice the estimated value for 2011 of £5.9bn, according to the Institute of Grocery Distribution.

Research unveiled at the IGD’s Online Grocery Retailing event show that by the end of this year, the online grocery market will account for 3.8 per cent of total grocery spend in the UK and is projected to increase to 6.0 per cent by 2016.

IGD chief Joanne Denney-Finch said: “Although online grocery retailing only accounts for 3.8 per cent of the total grocery market, it is the fastest growing grocery channel and one which will be used more widely in the future as shoppers become increasingly multi-channel. Our research shows us that even those shoppers that don’t currently buy their groceries online (33 per cent) intend to do so in the future.”

The institute also found that a third of food and grocery manufacturers would consider developing their own e-stores and sell their products directly to shoppers, up from a quarter (27 per cent) in November last year.

And 61 per cent of manufacturers say the pace of growth in online grocery retailing in the next five years will accelerate year-on-year. Manufacturers identified smartphone applications  as having the greatest impact on the online channel in the future.

The IGD also looked at shoppers’ intentions. It found that 44 per cent intend to shop online for their groceries in the next five to ten years, compared to 17 per cent who are currently doing so.

Almost two thirds use two or more online supermarkets to shop for their food and groceries, with almost half saying they would like to try another online supermarket.

A third of shoppers say they intend using online shopping together with other outlets (such as supermarkets, local stores) to buy their groceries in the next five to ten years.

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