Grocery E-Commerce Consumers: Who Are They?

Apple Laptop with online grocery story open on wooden desk with plants surrounding and a wooden background

We previously conducted research on the e-commerce category centered around brand loyalty in the grocery and personal care categories. Results from that research showed that consumers tend to shop for the same brands online that they purchase in-store, or they select based on price, reviews, or recommendations. Additionally, many consumers choose to shop online for these particular items due to convenience. However, with the quickly changing landscape of e-commerce, it’s hard to understand what other factors contribute to a consumer’s choice to shop online, specifically when it comes to groceries, and just who that consumer is.

The Research

Utilizing an Agile Attitudes & Usage™ study, GutCheck sought to define grocery e-commerce consumers in order to craft a better understanding of the messaging that brands in this space could use to encourage more grocery food purchases online. The following objectives guided the research:

  • Identify the variety of providers and resources (including delivery methods) that consumers look to first and/or most often for ordering nondurable groceries online
  • Determine which key grocery items consumers are currently shopping online for compared to in-store and when they started
  • Uncover what motivations drive consumers to shop online for groceries and what barriers and triggers exist

The Results

Online grocery food shoppers look to save time on purchasing less perishable items.

Most online grocery food shoppers look to purchase less perishable grocery food, like dry or canned goods, online, in order to save time. However, other motivations outside of saving time do come up depending on the type of online grocery shopper they are.

Frequent and less frequent shoppers vary significantly, and as a result, messaging to these two groups should vary.

Through this research, two distinct types of online grocery food shoppers emerged, varying based on the frequency of their purchases. Brands who’d like to encourage frequent purchasers to purchase more and less frequent purchasers to overcome their barriers should target each group with specific messaging.

Amazon and Wal-Mart are the most used providers for online grocery food shopping.

Amazon and Wal-Mart are the most used providers, among respondents we spoke to, for online groceryfood shopping. Consumers that prefer at least one of these providers also vary in how, when, and why they began online grocery shopping. To understand more about Amazon or Wal-Mart online grocery shoppers, download the full report. You’ll also learn

  • The generational and gender differences between those frequently and less frequently purchasing groceries online and how to message to each type
  • The barriers and triggers to online grocery shopping and which areas prove the greatest opportunity for brands to overcome or address
  • How those with and without children differ in their online grocery shopping habits
  • Where significant differences exist between men and women’s online grocery shopping
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