Online Pushes Convenience Button

Survey ranks time saving high with consumers preferring click over brick

CLEVELAND -- Time saving could prove a pivotal trigger as consumers opt to shop online over a trip to the grocery or convenience store, according to a recent study.

online shopping

A study from British shopper marketing agency Savvy points to convenience as the main driver in the recent upsurge in online grocery shopping in the United States. Nearly three-quarters of over 1,000 respondents (74%) cited convenience as their main reason for buying groceries online, while less than one-fifth (19%) said price was the most important factor.

The study supports many others in recent years, speaking to a growing demographic dubbed “Generation Xhausted,” according to Tom Golden, an ecommerce consultant writing on behalf of the Shopper Technology Institute, Cleveland. He described the growing pool of those likely to opt for online shopping as “generally financially well-off, but time-poor. [These are] individuals keen to grab a few hours back every week to spend more time with their kids, demanding jobs or increasingly elaborate hobbies.”

Golden, vice president of marketing for Clavis Insight, Boston, said many online consumers balk at service fees they may incur with home delivery and often choose pick-up service, where they can avoid the hassle of actually going up and down store aisles and simply go to the store to pick up ready-made shopping bags.

Looking forward, Golden suggested other opportunities, with one being “meal kits.” The idea goes beyond packaging a meal for microwave heating. These solutions bring together ingredients needed to make a gourmet meal but allow people to prepare them themselves.

“The traditional category-focused layout of supermarkets makes it difficult for [grocers] to adapt to this type of meal solution,” Golden said. “But food manufacturers should look to work with the online arm of their grocery-store customers to assist the move in this direction if they don’t want to lose customers, exhausted or otherwise, to this growing trend.”

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