The enormous advance of online grocery shopping has come to a halt. A change has been noticeable since April and the market share of online supermarkets is falling. Reason: the elderly are returning to the physical supermarket. This is evident from data from market researcher GfK.
We were already ordering more and more online for corona, but the outbreak of the virus accelerated growth since March last year. The market share of online supermarkets was 4.3 percent at the beginning of 2020 and rose at a record pace to 7.6 percent in March this year.
That increase has come to an end. “We have seen a decline since April. We are coming out of the lockdown and normal life is gradually being picked up again. This means, among other things, that consumer spending flows back to the physical supermarket at the expense of online. The online market share has now fallen to 7 percent. That is a lot in such a short time”, says GfK researcher Norman Buysse.
GfK also looked at the profile of customers who have stopped shopping online. “The outcome is clear: especially the group of 50 years and older returns to the supermarket. Families and households will continue to place a lot of online orders for the time being. Due to this marked dichotomy in age, we think that the elderly will dare to go outside again now that they have been vaccinated and the number of infections is declining.”
“We assume that personal safety was the motivation of the elderly to do their shopping online during the crisis. Now they’re coming back. You do not see this trend among young people and families, because of the convenience and time savings they remain loyal to online ordering and having their groceries delivered”, says Buysse.
No more trouble with too much crowds
At Albert Heijn, also the largest online supermarket in our country, they notice that online shopping has moved into calmer waters. Last year, the wholesaler occasionally had to sell ‘no’ to new customers and it was difficult to reserve time slots for delivery times. AH no longer suffers from that. ,,That is also because by expanding our capacity we already had sufficient options to order groceries online. The big peak is behind us, but we still get new customers every week. We will therefore continue to expand logistics centers for our online market. Later this year we will open our eighth so-called home shop center in Roosendaal.”
At other supermarkets, too, they notice that the great pressure on the delivery services is decreasing. Michiel Muller, co-owner of online supermarket Picnic, also expects the arrival to become less massive, but immediately indicates that his company still has quite long waiting lists. “So to be honest, we don’t notice much of an online dip.”
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