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Gen Y big winner in online shopping Olympics

Gen Y big winner in online shopping Olympics

Online shoppers are more likely to be Millennials, members of affluent households with kids, and urbanites, finds a new study

Pam Basciani

It’s no surprise that Millennials are embracing online grocery shopping, but new consumer data shows just how much this is playing out.

Millennials with children between the ages of 25 and 34 are about 50% more likely to shop for online groceries than total U.S. shoppers (aged 16-75), according to new consumer survey data from The Coca-Cola Co. made available exclusively to SN.

The company’s research found that online grocery shoppers are more likely to be Millennials, members of affluent households with kids, multiculturals and urbanites.

On the beverage side, Millennials spend 33% more dollars online compared with older online grocer shoppers, the data found. Moreover, Millennials are almost two times more likely to purchase beverages on a monthly or more frequent basis using click-and-collect rather than through other online methods such as home delivery, according to the research.

Click on infographic to enlarge

These and other insights are based on custom and syndicated research, and the company’s ongoing iSHOP study that surveys shoppers of more than 300 retailers in the U.S. including food, drug, mass and convenience retail channels. ISHOP is an acronym for individual shopping habits, occasions and perceptions.

The biggest reason for grocery shopping online is convenience, with 35% of shoppers choosing that response, the research found.

“People are working longer hours so they want to shop on their time,” said Pam Basciani, group director, large store channel planning and development for the Coca-Cola Co.

The next biggest reason for shopping online is price and value, as 26% of consumers said they are able to get a better price online.

A total of 22% of respondents pointed to extensive assortment as the reason for shopping online, and 17% cited delivery convenience.

Products that land on shoppers online lists are more likely to be repeat purchases, the report said. Some 58% of online purchases originate from favorites’ lists.

“Lists don’t change much after the first time they are created,” Basciani explained. “Visuals and exact titles of products are critical for brands to include.”

By far the biggest product category for online shopping is health and beauty care, with 69% of online shoppers purchasing, the data found. That was followed by shelf-stable food (44%), household paper goods (43%), pet care (36%), fresh foods (20%) and baby care (13%).

“Fresh foods is one segment we expect to rise in the future,” Basciani said.

Some 60% of frequent online grocery shoppers have bought beverages online, according to the data. A deeper look at the beverage category shows what’s driving consumer visits to online grocery sites, based on their last beverage purchase occasion.

The biggest reason is household stock-up/fill-in, which accounts for 25% of respondents. That was closely followed by product search “to find specific brands I want/need or searching for unique or premium brands” (24%). Other reasons were buying for special occasions (17%), browsing (10%) and quick meal fixes (9%).

The research found people buying beverages online are less price focused. Only 21% buy beverages online based primarily on coupons and promotions, compared with 40% of in-store beverage buyers, the report said.

Moreover, the research found that online beverage shopping actually leads consumers to purchase more beverages in-store.

The study projected that online food and alcohol sales growth will be about 10 times greater than in-store advances.  It also found that online shoppers spend 20% to 40% more on average than in-store-only shoppers.

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