The number of Americans buying groceries online is expected to more than triple in less than a decade, according to a new study.
About 23 percent of U.S. shoppers buy groceries online today, but because of the market’s immaturity, that number will skyrocket in coming years, according to “A Look at the Evolving E-Commerce Landscape,” a Nov. 1 report from Nielsen Co. LLC.
“Relative to sectors like apparel and electronics, it’s still early in the evolution of e-commerce for most FMCG (Fast Moving Consumer Goods) categories. The grocery category is even earlier along the chain of evolution,” according to the report. “As a result, even in some of the most developed markets, like the U.S., we will see significant growth of online channels.”
In most FMCG categories, online sales grow in relative proportion to smartphone ownership and Internet connectivity, according to the study.
That is not, however, the case with retail grocery. Looking at retail as a whole, 70% of e-commerce sales can be linked to connectivity and mobile penetration levels. With grocery, it’s only 40%.
“When it comes to the grocery category, supply is more important than demand on the e-commerce front,” according to the study. “Compared with total e-commerce, grocery e-commerce is less affected by connectivity and mobile. An array of other factors come in to play when it comes to grocery e-commerce, and those factors vary from region to region.”