Online shopping is certainly a big business in the UK. [IMRG Capgemini e-Retail Sales Index] reported that online sales in the UK grew by 16 percent to £91bn in 2013. It has been predicted that this will rise by a [further 17 percent this year] to a total of £107bn as British consumers are more frequently turning to their smartphones and tablets to make purchases.
The online food and grocery sector makes up a large proportion of this. Consumer goods research group [IGD], interviewed over 1,000 shoppers and have forecasted that online sales in the grocery sector are expected to reveal the biggest percentage growth. The findings reflect that by 2018, the internet market in the food and grocery sector will be [worth £8.1 billion], an increase of 123.7 per cent over five years. And although supermarkets will still generate the largest proportion of sales, they are predicted to grow at a much slower rate than online shopping.
So why exactly is this increase occurring? Well, the main reason is convenience. Our lifestyles are typically fast paced and online information can be accessed immediately. We can communicate at the click of the button and we're used to having all manner of things, including tangible goods, instantly. For many people, the thought of placing an online food shop is far more appealing than the effort of a trip to the supermarket. With next day or even same day delivery in the offerings, it fits with our lifestyle. Retailers are also introducing more convenient and flexible services including temperature controlled 'click & collect' lockers for shoppers to pick up their groceries at a time and place that suits them.
Another reason why online shopping is so appealing is that many sites provide price comparisons so you can be sure you're getting the best value for your money. Particularly when you take into account the cost of petrol to drive to the supermarket, you’ll likely get your entire shop online for less. With food budgeting being essential for many families, online shopping helps them to track their spending more efficiently.
A number of supermarket sites also offer a personalised service - for example, saving the items from your previous order, suggestions about what you might like based on what you have in your basket and your order history, and bespoke discounts to name a few incentives. Again, this makes the whole process simple, potentially more cost effective and convenient.
Many brands have responded to the surge in online shopping over the past decade and, therefore, only exist online. ASOS for example is one of the most successful fashion retailers in the UK and has only ever had an online presence. Here at [ilumi] we took the same approach, taking into consideration that people often find online food shopping more convenient. We know that it can be difficult to find high quality gluten, dairy or nut free meals in supermarkets, supermarkets also tend to chop and change what they offer, which can be a real frustration, so we decided to remove that obstacle by doing the hard work for you. Combining the quality factor of our foods with the convenience of our free of charge express delivery service, also means that our meals are great value for money and really take the hassle out of the weekly shop.