Online commerce has made some giant leaps in recent years, and now the hours spent traipsing around the supermarket are becoming less frequent for some Brits, as they trade trolleys for home delivery. New research from Mintel reveals that 29% more UK online grocery shoppers are buying their items online now, compared to 12 months ago.

Online grocery sales are forecast to reach £9.8 billion in 2016, up 13% from an estimated £8.6 billion in 2015. What’s more, sales are forecast to grow a further 73% to reach £15 billion by 2020. Online-only grocery retailers are particularly benefitting from ‘sofa shoppers’, with sales increasing 110% from £1.1 billion in 2010, to an estimated £2.3 billion in 2015.

Currently, online grocery shopping accounts for 6% of total grocery sector sales in 2015, up from 3% in 2010.

In the US, UK and France, retail giant Amazon has already been delivering groceries and fresh produce to its customers. They now, seemingly, have a much larger taste for the market, launching not just own-label products, but own-label food too. Initially trialling products such as nuts, coffee, tea and baby food – at present – to Prime customers only.
The online retailer has some way to go to improve it’s online ordering experience, which it seems to be doing with it’s Dash buttons and Echo assistant. But with some fine tuning, the potential for the retailer to expand into the market is vast.

For example, last year, private store-brands in both the UK and US saw an increase in sales, generating $118.4 billion in one year, with 80% of customers saying they would choose private labels over national ones, if the former is cheaper.

Today, as many as half (48%) of Brits are current online grocery shoppers. One in ten (11%) do all of their shopping online, with a further 12% doing most of their grocery shopping online. It’s younger consumers bucking the trend, with one-fifth (19%) of 25-34 year olds now doing all of their grocery shopping online; 36% of them shop for groceries online more often now, than 12 months ago, according to Mintel.

Consumers cite convenience as the main reason for shopping online over in-store, followed by the fact that online shopping allows consumers to keep better track of spending (33%), and the wider variety of delivery slots available (32%). Whilst a lack of control when selecting fresh food and drink products, delivery charges (26%), and a diversity in discount grocery retailers (such as Aldi and Lidl) (25%), remain the biggest deterrents for not completely shifting to online grocery shopping.