You might think that just about everybody is buying groceries online today, as retailers like Walmart, Kroger and Amazon race to perfect their delivery services and tout their abilities to get food to shoppers' homes in under an hour. But that's not exactly the case.
Grocery shoppers are still concerned they're being charged higher prices online and complain about delivery drivers being late, among other disappointments.
In the U.S., a mere 3 percent of grocery spending takes place online today. Americans haven't been as quick to jump on board with placing their grocery orders from their computers or smartphones, especially when compared with markets like the U.K. and South Korea, where online grocery penetration can be as high as 15 percent.
Only a quarter of consumers have tried an online grocery service in the past year, according to a new survey of more than 8,000 U.S. grocery shoppers completed by consulting group Bain & Co. in collaboration with Google. And only 26 percent of those shoppers, or 6 percent of all U.S. consumers, went on to say they order groceries online more than once a month. Instead, most Americans are taking multiple trips to the grocery store each week.
"We've been early adopters in this country in almost every other retail category," Bain & Co. partner Stephen Caine said. "We know online grocery will explode at some point."
For now, though, grocery chains like Albertsons and Ahold Delhaize and delivery providers like Instacart and FreshDirect alike are grappling with how to get more shoppers to take advantage of their services. Fear of Amazon's dominance has pushed many companies to make these investments, even if they eat into profits...