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UK consumers hesitant to embrace E-Grocery

September 27, 2009 Leave a comment

In a Britain news article, “Many consumers yet to click with online grocery shopping”..

Nearly half the population (45%) do not see the point of shopping for food online, and more than two in three (69%) think that they might as well do all their shopping in-store, if a top-up visit is needed. Today, around one in three (35%) adults shop online for food, but just one in nine (11%) of all UK adults do so regularly or exclusively.

Today, nearly one in three adults (31%) see grocery shopping as a chore. In addition, it seems Brits also want to be masters of their own shopping basket as the research reveals two thirds (66%) of shoppers prefer not to buy fresh food online as they are concerned about use by dates. Meanwhile, the majority of consumers (83%) still like to see and touch fresh produce before buying.

“Our research reveals food is an emotional issue for today’s consumers. For many shoppers, touching, feeling and even smelling food before purchase to select shopping taliored to their own specific requirements is prefereable over the online shopping route. In addition, nearly three quarters of consumers often choose products because they look interesting in-store, so online grocery retailers could benefit from encouraging such impulse shopping online.”  Kiti Soininen, Senior Retail Analyst at Mintel said.

On a positive note, the report finds that major retailers’ online operations now cater for around 90% of the UK population. What is more, broadband penetration and connection speeds are steadily rising, making online shopping faster and thus an increasingly viable alternative to shopping in-store. A steadily rising share of adults are shopping online for non-food, lowering the barrier to doing so also for food.

What’s happening in UK is also happening here in our country. One of the primary roadblocks for the penetrations of E-Businesses is our Filipino culture. We value every little experience and find most of it as an integral part of building relationships with ourselves and among other fellow pinoys. With the case of online groceries, it is not surprising that in other countries, and in ours as well, the innovation has not yet gained its spotlight.

Perhaps, the culture entails this ‘chores’ as something that we want to experience for real. Food involves  sensory experience, and as shopping for groceries involves this, our preference tend to gravitate toward performing it the traditional way – inside the marketplace.

Anyhow, I firmly know that in the near future, the web will be the homeplace of all our commodities, and a majority of today’s users would likely embrace the convenience of online groceries.