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Grocery shopping online is catching on in the US, with estimates showing that sales in this sector grew by more than one-third (35%) year-over-year in 2018, to $24 billion. Even so, online grocery shopping has plenty of room for more growth, as a report [download page] from Valassis notes that only one-third of the 1,800 consumers they surveyed had shopped for groceries online in the past year.

Results of the survey show that consumers are not just logging into their preferred online grocery site and placing an order; many are taking the time to prepare for their purchases by looking at online coupons or promotional codes from the store (40%), reading printed store circulars (33%), looking at emailed deals from the store or delivery service (33%), looking at the store’s online flyer/circular (32%) and reading through mail/newspaper coupon books to decide what to add to their online order (29%).

Other respondents rely, in part, on previous orders, as one-third report that they select the exact items from past online shopping lists. Others search for brands that aren’t saved from previous online shopping lists for a store (29%).

From these findings, the report emphasizes the importance of multichannel promotional campaigns. It’s also important to note that when it comes to shopping for groceries, shoppers prefer visual information about products over textual information.

While online grocery shoppers consider factors such as the ability to apply coupons to their order (33%) and an easier ordering experience when choosing where to shop, these are not necessarily their top concerns. Some 41% say that faster/cheaper shipping options is a key deciding factor. The same percentage of online grocery shoppers say that better discounts or deals have influence over where they shop.

One-quarter (25%) of the respondents who buy groceries online live in suburban areas, compared to the 48% who live in urban areas. Of those suburban consumers, half (51%) say that faster/cheaper shipping options and better discounts were factors they consider when choosing an online grocery store. This is compared to 30% and 31%, respectively of urban consumers who consider the same factors.

For more details, download the full report here.

About the Data: Report data is based on a survey of 1,800 US adults and is balanced by age and gender to the US Census demographic profiles. The research was fielded between November – December 2018.

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