Unata, a Canada-based provider of 1:1 digital solutions for grocers, reveals the top findings from its Annual 2017 Grocery eCommerce Forecast. The report, completed in partnership with Brick Meets Click, Barrington, Ill., surveyed over 500 U.S. consumers about online grocery shopping habits, intent and barriers in order to help retailers understand where to focus their efforts in 2017.

The data reveals aggressive growth in consumer adoption of online for groceries in both 2016 and 2017, and proves e-commerce is fundamental to a grocer’s business moving forward. Among the findings:

  • 31% of U.S. consumers are likely to shop for groceries online in 2017.
  • The growth in adoption is expected to increase to 31%, up from 19% of consumers who bought groceries online in 2016, which more than doubled from the year prior, showcasing steady and aggressive year-over-year e-grocery adoption growth.
  • E-grocery is here to stay—80% who buy groceries online have or will do it again.
  • A top-of-the-line e-grocery experience is key to win and defend market share. 68% of consumers that shopped online last year are likely to switch grocers to one with a better online shopping experience (quick, easy, convenient, enjoyable).

“Not only are more consumers shopping for groceries online, but most are willing to switch grocers for a better digital experience, confirming that e-commerce is critical to the success of a grocer’s business,” says Dan Farmer, vice president of retail solutions for Unata. “If grocers want to grow their business and stay relevant with their current shopper base, they need to focus their time, effort and budget on building the best digital customer experience possible. It’s an exciting time for e-grocery, and we want our retail partners to reap the rewards, so we hope that this report provides the data and information needed to help them do just that.”

“The message for grocers from this study is that it’s no longer a question of whether or not to respond to growing interest in online shopping,” says Bill Bishop, chief architect at Brick Meets Click. “Now, it’s a matter of how to do it, and this means focusing on a great digital experience.”