The online food and grocery market is set to be worth £11.1bn by 2017, almost double its current value of £5.6bn, according to the latest research published by IGD at its Trading in a digital world conference.
The figures represents a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 14.6% between 2012 and 2017.
According to IGD ShopperVista research: 44% said they expect to use the internet to buy their groceries in the next five to ten years; 58% of shoppers said technology is good at helping them save money when doing their food and grocery shopping, while 54% said it helps to save time; 46% of online shoppers would be encouraged to buy more of their groceries using the internet if personalised promotions were emailed to them.
Joanne Denney-Finch, chief executive, IGD, said: “Although online currently represents only 3.4% of the overall UK grocery market, it is the fastest-growing sector – set to grow by a phenomenal 98% over the next five years.
“Increasing smartphone and tablet use together with new fourth generation (4G) mobile technology, should boost online grocery shopping and allow shoppers to use all services retailers provide from in-store navigation to using QR codes to access recipe ideas.
“Smartphone shopping is certainly popular with young shoppers, with six out of ten (57% of) under-35s saying they are already doing it or keen to do so. One way retailers are capitalising on this trend is through the development of interactive virtual shopping walls.
“Although online grocery is still in its infancy it is evolving at a blistering pace," said Denney-Finch. "Food companies need to view their websites as digital assets that not only sell groceries, but also add to the shopping experience through initiatives such as product reviews and ratings, or live chat with members of staff.”