Most Millennials Plan to Buy Groceries Online This Year; Reviews Will Influence Brand Selection

January 22, 2018

Some 41% of US adults surveyed in Q4 said they’d be likely to purchase groceries online in the coming year, a figure that rose to 55% among Millennials, per research from IRI [pdf]. Almost half of Gen Xers also said they’d be likely to buy groceries online, as did roughly one-third of older respondents.

Gallup data has likewise shown a strong age skew in online grocery shopping favoring youth.

All told, more than one-quarter (28%) of adults surveyed by IRI reported buying grocery items online.

Separate results from IRI’s report indicate that upwards of 6 in 10 Millennials and Gen Xers would switch to a new CPG brand if they’ve read a good review online. Smaller FMCG manufacturers have been enjoying the bulk of category growth in recent years, and it seems from IRI’s survey that they could benefit from online reviews.

Shoppers are turning to online channels for CPG purchases for a number of reasons, per the report. The majority of Millennials and Gen Xers surveyed agreed that online order/in-store pickup (click-and-collect) allows them convenience without the added shipping fee. Many also feel that buying online allows them to find lower-priced home care and beauty/personal care options, though fewer feel that they’re able to find lower-priced OTC medication and food and beverage options online.

Another advantage of buying online cited by half of adults is a smaller likelihood of making impulse purchases. That’s important given that 31% say they struggle to afford needed groceries. As such, many pursue money-saving opportunities such as downloading coupons from retailer/manufacturer websites (55%) and comparing prices on retailer websites to find the lowest prices on needed items (51%).

Overall, the most important online capabilities driving channel selection are online purchasing with free delivery, online purchasing with fast delivery, and online purchasing with in-store pickup.

The full report can be accessed here [pdf].

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