A permanent shift towards grocery delivery will be one of the legacies of the Coronavirus pandemic, according to HIM & MCA Insight.

The recently launched HIM & MCA Insight UK Recovery Report 2020, says the surge in demand for grocery delivery will continue after the pandemic ends, as shoppers look to maintain the benefits it has offered during the lockdown period.

According to the report, 29% of shoppers are shopping online for food and drink more than before the lockdown began. More significantly, 20% of these shoppers plan to continue to use grocery delivery services more even when lockdown has ended.

This rises to 36% of 25-34 year olds, highlighting the importance of building loyalty during the lockdown period to maintain these new users as the market recovers and we enter ‘adjusted normality’.

Another group of shoppers who have increased their use of online grocery is the 75+ year-olds, facilitated by the prioritisation of delivery slots for the elderly and vulnerable by grocery retailers. For this group, building customer trust will be important to encourage these consumers to continue to use delivered grocery following the lockdown.

In addition to supermarket delivery services, 12% of shoppers are ordering groceries through delivery apps, such as Deliveroo and UberEATS, more than they did before lockdown began. Of those already using delivery apps more for grocery shopping, 5% expect to continue to do so once lockdown ends.

Demand for online grocery slots has outstripped availability since the lockdown began, however the major multiples have expanded their capacity for deliveries through significant recruitment of pickers and drivers. In the convenience channel, the easing of some terms and conditions from delivery platforms has made it more attractive for retailers to serve their local communities by offering a delivery service.

Blonnie Walsh, head of insight at HIM & MCA Insight said, “Through lockdown, existing online retailers have upweighted their delivery capabilities. In addition, retailers new to online delivery have found the platforms and infrastructure to support them within a channel that has seen significant growth.

“However, we don’t expect this growth to be short-term, with increased usage of grocery online set to be a legacy behaviour in the aftermath of coronavirus. More consumers, especially the elderly and vulnerable, are now versed in the process and retailers are better able to cater to demand. Discounters, with little in the way of delivery capabilities stand to lose out to this revenue stream, hence Aldi’s announcement that they are now partnering with Deliveroo makes sense.

“Retailers offering online services have offered the UK’s most vulnerable residents a lifeline during the coronavirus pandemic. In addition, many convenience stores have quickly adapted their offer to serve their local communities. With a significant proportion of shoppers planning to continue using online shopping for food and drink more even once lockdown eases, maintaining loyalty now is key to sustaining high demand and footfall once existing measures start to ease.”

Further information on HIM & MCA Insight’s UK Recovery Report 2020 can be found on their website.