Global: A third of consumers now prefer to shop for groceries online
October 26th, 2021, Janice Fernandes

Global: A third of consumers now prefer to shop for groceries online

Online shopping has seen an uptick in the past year with consumers understandably choosing the comfort and safety of their homes over trips into the outside world.

A recent global YouGov survey, across 17 markets, shows that while booking accommodation (74%), travel tickets (73%) and banking (67%) are some of the activities consumers prefer doing remotely, buying clothes and groceries online remains a minority pursuit – albeit a significant one.

Purchase preference for groceries

Analysing the 17 markets separately shows that while more than half of adult consumers from China (70%), India (65%), UAE (59%) and online Indonesia (58%) prefer buying groceries remotely, globally consumers are more likely to say they prefer not to shop for food online (43% vs. 35% who do).

Only a small proportion of GB (25%) and US (25%) consumers prefer buying groceries remotely while more than half of them don’t prefer it (54% and 55%, respectively), and only two in ten are neutral. Digging deeper into the data suggests that in Great Britain age is not a factor when it comes to preference but in the US, while 35% of 18-24-year-olds prefer buying groceries remotely, only 19% of those over 55 prefer it.

On the other hand, Singaporeans are more divided on this matter, in a roughly equal proportion (36% prefer, 34% neutral, 29% don’t prefer). Six in ten Germans and Danes seem to prefer going to physical premises rather than shopping remotely, which is a considerable proportion since only one-third prefer shopping remotely.

Purchase preference for apparel

In terms of preference for buying clothes remotely, consumers in China (71%), India (66%), Indonesia (63%) and UAE (55%) lead the way.

A smaller proportion of British (34%) and American (36%) consumers prefer remote shopping for clothes. In the US, the survey indicates that there is a general decline in preference as people get older (18-24: 41%; 25-34: 38%; 35-44: 40%; 45-54: 34%; 55+: 34%). And this trend is more pronounced in Great Britain with 50% of 18-24-year-olds preferring to shop remotely for clothes compared to only 26% among the 55+ age group.

Singaporeans are once more almost equally divided in their preferences (33% prefer, 35% neutral and 33% don’t prefer). Almost 50% of adult consumers from Spain, France and Australia don’t prefer to shop for clothes remotely.

This data is consistent with another global YouGov survey, which indicates that consumers across the 17 markets are considering visiting physical stores more to buy groceries and exhibit a lower propensity to do so for clothing purchases.

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Methodology: The data is based on the interviews of adults aged 18 and over in 17 markets with sample sizes varying between 509 and 2124 for each market. All interviews were conducted online in August 2021. Data from each market uses a nationally representative sample apart from Mexico and India, which use urban representative samples, and Indonesia and Hong Kong, which use online representative samples.