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Four in 10 UK online grocery shops now take place on mobile: study

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When UK shoppers buy groceries online, the chances are they’ll be doing it over their phones, according to a new study out this week.

Forty per cent of all online grocery shops now take place on mobile, according to the UK FMCG Deep Dive – Taking Stock of the Future of Grocery report from performance marketing technology company Criteo, while 7% of all grocery shopping in the UK is now online. That’s more than Spain, the Czech Republic and the Netherlands combined. The report cites IDG figures that suggest online grocery will grow by 68% by 2021. As yet, while a quarter of grocery shoppers have bought them online, 75% have not.

What’s driving this? The report argues that this is all about the move to click and collect, and that this is giving bricks and mortar supermarkets the advantage over Amazon. Enabling fast and cheap delivery, as well a a choice of click and collect options are key to ensuring that retailers win online and mobile orders.

The move makes it more important for brands to stand out within the highly limited constraints of the mobile phone screen, says Criteo. First movers such as Organix and Hipp have gained high profiles in online grocery thanks to their approach to selling online, while paid placements on product category sites give similar visibility to the in-store end of aisle. When shoppers consistently choose the same or similar shopping lists, brands that are not included may suffer, says Criteo, which suggested having sponsored products in order to gain an in. Having a consumer-directed shopping process is also key, while larger and close-up images, and in-depth product information.

“UK brands have spent years developing powerful relationships with shoppers, but need to adapt their marketing practices, refined through years of in-store experience, to engage with customers online in new and more innovative ways,” says Ben Cooper, managing director, Europe, Criteo sponsored product. “Ensuring that both physical and online retail stores are closely aligned, keeping abreast with changing market needs, offering best-in-class customer service, and products that live up to their brand’s promise will give them the advantage. The reward? A weekly presence in the baskets of their loyal online customers.”

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