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Online grocery shopping still niche (but not for much longer)

Source: Roy Morgan Single Source (Australia), July 2014 – June 2015 (n=12,798).

Like taxes, bills and bad drivers, shopping for groceries is one of life’s inevitabilities. Yet according to the latest findings from Roy Morgan Research, less than half (47.4%) of the Australian population actually enjoy grocery shopping. Which begs the question: why aren’t more people sparing themselves the angst of the supermarket and purchasing their groceries online?

Some 12.8 million Australians are their household’s main grocery-buyer, yet only 3.0% of them (389,000 people) do their supermarket shopping via the internet in an average four weeks. However, this is a substantial increase on 2011, when 169,000 grocery buyers were making their supermarket purchases this way.

Meanwhile, the proportion of Aussie grocery-buyers buying alcohol online in any given four weeks is also growing, having almost doubled from 1.6% (or 196,000 people) in 2011 to 3.1% (398,000) as of June 2015.

Online grocery and alcohol shopping: on the rise


Source: Roy Morgan Single Source (Australia), July 2014 – June 2015 (n=12,798).

There is a marked crossover between the two categories, with 14.3% of people who do their supermarket shopping online also purchasing alcohol the same way, and 14.0% of those who buy alcohol online also doing their supermarket shopping over the internet.

Who are these people?

Considering that four out of five Aussie women are their household’s main grocery-buyer, it is no surprise that women (3.8%) are almost twice as likely as men (1.8%) to do their supermarket shopping online. (Men, however, are more likely than women to purchase booze on the internet).

Tellingly, parents with children aged under-16 in the household are much more likely than people from childless households to buy their groceries this way, particularly when the kids are between 0-2 years (8.6 %) and 3-5 (8.5%). After all, young children and supermarkets are not always a match made in heaven…

Andrew Price, General Manager – Consumer Products, Roy Morgan Research, says:

“Online grocery shopping is still relatively niche in Australia, but if supermarkets continue to invest in their e-commerce platforms, and introduce cheaper delivery and online loyalty schemes, it’s likely that the number of Aussie grocery-buyers shopping this way will continue to grow. In today’s time-pressed society, getting to the supermarket is not always easy; whereas a few clicks on a smartphone can be done anywhere, any time.

“Of the major supermarkets, a higher proportion of Woolworths and Coles customers make supermarket purchases online than those who usually shop at ALDI and IGA. Currently, ALDI only offers alcohol online (although their customers come in below average for this kind of purchase), while IGA have not yet expanded into e-commerce, which limits their loyal customers’ options.

“Furthermore, our data shows that online supermarket (and liquor) shopping is still more popular among Technology Early Adopters than other Technology Adoption Segments. But as mainstream Australia becomes more comfortable with the concept, it stands to reason that more people will purchase groceries and alcohol via the internet.”

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About Roy Morgan

Roy Morgan is the largest independent Australian research company, with offices throughout Australia, as well as in Indonesia, the United States and the United Kingdom. A full service research organisation specialising in omnibus and syndicated data, Roy Morgan has over 70 years’ experience in collecting objective, independent information on consumers.

Margin of Error

The margin of error to be allowed for in any estimate depends mainly on the number of interviews on which it is based. Margin of error gives indications of the likely range within which estimates would be 95% likely to fall, expressed as the number of percentage points above or below the actual estimate. Allowance for design effects (such as stratification and weighting) should be made as appropriate.

Sample Size

Percentage Estimate


25% or 75%

10% or 90%

5% or 95%