Mintel forecasts a significant growth for online grocery sales
According to their latest research, Mintel announces that the online grocery market is forecast to grow by 33% in 2020 to reach an estimated value of £16.8 billion in the UK. The growth of online sales was slowing the last couple of years, but the COVID-19 Crisis fuelled new habits for the UK consumers. The market is set to be worth £17.9 billion by 2024, growing by 41% over the five-year period.
These are obviously UK numbers, but I thought these would definitely be a good insight looking at our current situation in Belgium. Mainly two major conclusions are worth mentioning:
- the fact that ecommerce’s sudden increase should be a long-term effect,
- and seniors are definitely a group deserving online retailers’ attention.
Long lasting effect
According to Mintel’s research, consumers definitely turn to online shopping in order to limit the time spend in-store. Also, this increase of online use should not be just a temporary crisis behaviour. Nick Carroll, Associate Director of Retail Research at Mintel, said: “Over the course of just a few months, COVID-19 has had a seismic impact on Britain’s grocery sector. The pandemic is giving a significant short-term boost to online grocery services, as shoppers look to avoid stores and limit their contact with the outside world. However, the impact will last beyond the crisis. Shopper numbers in the online grocery market have plateaued in recent years as retailers struggled to get new customers to try these services. The outbreak is bringing a new audience to online grocery, and this should boost the market long term with strong growth forecast through to 2024. While there is currently a significant disruption to the online grocery market, with some retailers not accepting new customers, this will ease in the short-term as more capacity is brought online.”
Still a challenge for over 65s
Online shopping does know an increase among the over 65 consumers. However, while some older Brits are experienced in ordering online, they are by far the minority. Nick Carroll, Associate Director of Retail Research at Mintel, explained: “Older generations that had previously shied away from online grocery have, effectively, been forced to change their habits in the face of social distancing measures. While there has been a rise in online grocery shopping among the over 65s, the reality is a significant number of consumers in the older age groups have no experience shopping online for groceries and/or are not digitally native. There is a real need to ensure access to online grocery deliveries for older consumers. We’re seeing some retailers already thinking of easier ways to order goods, including phone orders for next-day delivery.”
So, some are going online for their grocery requirements, but many are relying on the kindness of friends and family. The research showed that a quarter (24%) of consumers aged under 44 say they have been helping friends/family and/or neighbours with their shopping. This means that seniors are a target worth exploring for online retailers.
*These numbers are Mintel’s latest estimates as of 23 April 2020, and are subject to change based on ongoing research and economic shifts.
MintelEcommerceCorona VirusUnited KingdomUk