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Most Americans uninterested in buying groceries online

While supermarkets have been investing more in e-commerce in recent years, opening dark stores, rolling out click-and-collect offerings and striking partnerships with delivery programs, new research suggests this may all be for naught.

US-based research firm Morning Consult recently polled 2,000 adults in the US about their food and beverage shopping habits and found that 67 per cent have never purchased food or beverage products online. Of these, 65 per cent have no plans to do so in future.

The figures vary somewhat between male and female shoppers, with 38 per cent of men saying they have bought food or beverage products online, compared to only 29 per cent of women.

Those who earn salaries of US$100,000 and higher are more likely to have purchased food or beverage products online, than lower-income earners.

Geographically speaking, it doesn’t matter where respondents live, with roughly one-third of urban suburban rural shoppers all saying they have purchased groceries online.

Unsurprisingly, nearly half of respondents (47 per cent) say they shop online for the convenience of having groceries delivered to their doorstep. Options (23 per cent) and cost (18 per cent) are less significant factors.

The majority of those who buy online tend to purchase small amounts of items as they need them, rather than all their groceries for the week.

This bear out with the finding that only 16 per cent of online grocery shoppers buy food or beverage products online every week. 23 per cent buy online every month and 56 per cent buy online a few times a year.

The primary reason given for not purchasing groceries online is a general preference for in-store shopping, with 65 per cent of respondents citing this reason.

This is the primary reason for shopping in-store even among Gen Z respondents, although only 44 per cent say so.

More than half of respondents are ‘very satisfied’ with the grocery store options near them, although those who have purchased food or beverage products online are more likely to enjoy grocery shopping than only in-store shoppers.

The cost of delivery appears to be a significant factor in consumers’ decision to shop in-store over online, with 51 per cent of respondents saying they are not willing to pay extra for delivery.

Only 35 per cent of those who have purchased groceries online in the past say they are unwilling to pay extra for delivery.

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