E-commerce is now one of the biggest industries out there. It is, in fact, responsible for over 2.3 trillion US dollars of sales worldwide in 2017. It is also expected to hit over 4.5 trillion US dollars by 2021. This just makes sense as everything is becoming digitalized, and shopping is clearly part of it.

How Online Grocery Shopping is Doing in the E-commerce Industry

There are a few in-demand products in the e-commerce industry as of the moment. These are apparel, electronics, and digital goods. Around 30 percent of e-commerce sales are of electronics, while over 27 percent is for apparel.

Purchasing online can take a while and so it just makes sense that the most purchased items online are non-perishables. Now, when it comes to perishable goods, it is reported that only 3 percent of online sales are of grocery items.

With this said, online grocery shopping appears to be nit quite popular just yet. However, this sector of the e-commerce industry is still slowly getting there. Many companies are now starting to become more involved in this sector and we can only expect that grocery shopping will get better and maybe even more popular in the near future.

Recently, a study about online grocery shopping habits in the US, the UK, and Canada was conducted by HubSpot. They found that most of the Canadians haven’t really purchased grocery items online in the past year. Meanwhile, the residents of the United States appear to be more inclined to shop for groceries online.

The respondents in the US that they had for this study said that they are already comfortable purchasing goods online. Demographics also play a role when it comes to why the US is more into online shopping. According to the Atlantic, the high rate of online grocery shopping in the US can be because of how it has more population centers.

Countries like Canada only have few of these and so the United States has more edge when it comes to setting up online businesses and delivery companies. Here’s the excerpt of the Atlantic’s report:

“Part of the reason behind a higher rate of online grocery shopping in other nations could be due to the few large population centers, which makes it easier for delivery companies to set up shop in a few big cities and access a huge amount of purchasing power.”

Another reason why people in the US are more inclined to purchase goods online is the options available for them. E-commerce giants are mainly based in the US, but even independent and emerging online businesses are now becoming very competitive.

Part of why people are now shopping for goods online is because of how easy it is for them to gain access to goods that are typically hard to find. There are now online shops and grocers that actually curate what they offer to the consumers.

Mercato.com is a good example of this. It is a great online grocery platform for people who are looking to buy specialty goods near them. Mercato has shops or merchants like the Lobster Place, Wilson Farm, Reading Terminal Market, and Chelsea Market. Consumers can find different kinds of specialty goods here like coffee or even raw meat.

Convenience is mainly why people would choose to buy goods online. This is also the case for grocery shopping, but with how it’s doing compared to the other sectors of the e-commerce industry, it does appear like it’s on a slow move.

There are multiple factors that affect the growth of the online grocery shopping sector. First is mainly preference. People are just more comfortable picking fresh products themselves. Another reason is that some online grocers may require a minimum amount of purchase.

Having a minimum purchase makes it harder for people to shop for fresh goods online. Some online grocers would require a minimum purchase of 60 US dollars and that’s simply a lot of products. Note that these are perishable goods, and so it is possible that most would just go to waste.

This is, however, just a few challenges that the consumers are faced with when shopping for groceries online. It’s still noteworthy that many are still grocery shopping online for different reasons. Some just really don’t have the time to go to a supermarket and shop for groceries because it’s too far from them.

Mostly, online grocery shoppers enjoy the varieties that they can get from online grocers. It’s simply more convenient to just visit one website that drives to multiple shops or stores just to complete purchasing what’s on a single shopping list.

iLounge author Lucy Bennett

Lucy Bennett is a Contributing Editor at iLounge. She has been writing about Apple and technology for over six years. Prior to joining iLounge, Lucy worked as a writer for several online publications.