With online grocery sales predicted at $9.5 billion in 2017, new research suggests consumer attitudes are catching up with ambitious forecasts of online food sales.
“We are witnessing consumer perception change from being reluctant to buy to testing the waters and making purchases,” Steven Muro, president and founder of California-based Fusion Marketing, said in a news release.
Last year, just 4% of consumers said they had purchased food online, according to the release. Fusion Marketing’s ConsumerInsights research shows a 200% change in consumers’ willingness to try purchasing groceries online over the past year, according to the release. According to Fusion Marketing, shoppers are using tablets, smartphones, and desktop and laptop computers to shop online.
Going beyond just searching for information, more shoppers are making grocery and produce purchases. In addition, more consumers are interested in receiving texts and personalized ads from retailers tailored to their shopping patterns, according to the release.
While more consumers are trying online shopping, the amount they spend is modest.
“Consumers typically aren’t spending a lot online overall,” Muro said in the release. “Our research conducted in 2013 and 2014 indicates that a larger percentage of consumers have made a produce purchase, but many spent under $25 per shopping occasion.”
Online shopping is likely to accelerate in speed, efficiency and simplicity. Retailers should be prepared for online food sales growth if they want to capture market share of the $9.5 billion grocery industry, which equates to over $1 billion from fresh produce sales, according to the release.