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Ready or not, here comes online grocery

Ready or not, here comes online grocery

Leading department stores like Macy’s and Nordstrom’s expect most of their growth in the next few years to come from online shopping, not from their traditional stores. The same is true for home improvement operators like Lowe’s and Home Depot. Do food retailers understand they face a similar future? I think many underestimate the impact that online food and grocery sales will have on their business.

Look at what grocery shoppers are doing

Brick Meets Click research sees a significant increase in online grocery shopping in the next 10 years.
Brick Meets Click research sees a significant increase in online grocery shopping in the next 10 years.

Recently updated Brick Meets Click consumer research found that 1 in 10 grocery shoppers had bought at least some grocery items online in the previous 30 days. This translates to about 4% of today’s total grocery spending. If current trends, activity and investment continue, we forecast that online shopping will account for between 11% and 17% of grocery spending in most U.S. markets within 10 years.

Today, online grocery growth is driven by highly focused online food retailers like Door to Door Organics, Relay Foods and Artizone, who are doing a good job of serving the needs of particularly well-defined market niches. It will grow even faster when the big operators start expanding their online programs – when Walmart rolls out “click and collect” to more than 4,000 stores, Amazon Fresh moves into new markets, or Google rapidly expands their Shopping Express service to grocery retailers.

How will you respond?

Some don’t believe this major disruptor is going to affect their grocery market, but I do. So I’m asking, “What are you doing to get ready for the inevitable?”

For more information, you can download BMC’s online grocery forecast paper from our site.

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