With online grocery shopping the UK is the undisputed leader among major European countries. Last year, Brits forked out EUR7.1 billion on buying food and consumer goods online, with the figure predicted to nearly double to EUR13.7 billion by 2016.
Figures from global foods and consumer goods expert IGD suggest that only web spending on groceries in France is somewhat close to the amount estimated in the UK. In 2012, French consumers bought online groceries worth EUR5 billion and are expected to increase spend to EUR10.6 billion by 2016. In Germany, the volume is forecast to increase from EUR1.1 billion last year to EUR2.5 billion in 2016, while in Switzerland and the Netherlands online grocery sales will grow to a respective EUR1.1 billion and EUR1.6 billion, from EUR700 million and EUR600 million in 2012.
However, despite the expected surge in virtual grocery shopping, brick-and-mortar stores are still the preferred places for buying food and consumer goods, a research from professional services firm Deloitte reveals. More than three in five Brits say that buying in-store is still their top method for doing their main grocery shop, with only 27% pointing to ordering groceries online and having them delivered to home as the preferred option. Although the share of Brits having a greater preference for physical stores than the web for grocery shopping, this is still a substantial number, especially when taking into account the fact that grocery shopping is rather a “sensory” experience, eMarketer commented.