Here’s Why Shoppers Say They Don’t Buy Groceries Online

They want to see the food. They want to touch the food. And they want it right away.

Author: Ben Clague

April 4, 2017

Shoppers who are reluctant to buy groceries online have some very specific reasons: They want to see the food, they want to touch the food and they want it right away.

Inspecting products at the grocery store, as well as the instant access provided by in-store shopping, are the top reasons why a large number of US grocery buyers don’t buy digitally.

More than half of US grocery shoppers ages 18 and older who don’t buy groceries digitally told Market Track in February 2017 that they refrained from doing so because they want to see and touch the products they might buy.

Another 42% said they want groceries immediately when they buy them, which rules out even ultrafast delivery services that promise goods within an hour or two.

For grocery retailers, the survey points out the challenges of developing solid services for all shoppers—those who embrace ecommerce, those reject it and those who are on the fence.

One solution is to provide omnichannel services, such as click and collect. A full 35% of US grocery retailers told Aptaris in December 2016 that they plan to offer digital ordering with pickup services. Another 23.5% already offered the service.

But that leaves 41% of retailers who don’t offer or plan to offer pickup for digital orders.

For those retailers (not to mention the 62% who said they don’t plan to offer digital ordering with delivery), the Market Track survey suggests there is a group of shoppers to focus on—the 27% of respondents who said they don’t buy online because they enjoy grocery shopping in-store.