Inmar, Winston-Salem, N.C., surveyed 2,000 online grocery shoppers, 45% of which were men, to better understand their motivations, major concerns and overall mindset when it comes to purchasing groceries online.

The 2018 e-commerce survey found that 65% of male online grocery shoppers do most or all of the shopping for their households. With more men living alone, leading single-adult households with children or taking on their full share of family responsibilities, males are emerging more and more as primary purchase decision-makers and shoppers.

While the majority of grocery shopping still occurs in physical brick-and-mortar locations, online grocery shopping has seen an incredible rise over the past several years.

The increasing demographic of men as the primary shoppers for groceries within a household represents a change in the usual trend, with convenience being the biggest benefit to online grocery shopping. In fact:

  • 53% of male respondents reported that they conduct their grocery shopping online for convenience, while 25% said that they had a free trial and/or discount that led them to make their first purchase(s).
  • 29% of men responded that they choose e-commerce for grocery shopping because they can shop at their convenience, there are no crowds associated with online grocery shopping (29%) and they don’t have to wait in line to check out (25%).

“Marketers need to take a fresh perspective on who they are targeting with e-commerce, and how to best meet these consumers’ needs. The findings from this survey represent a continuing shift from conventional marketing wisdom for grocery shopping. While women have traditionally been the primary shopper and decision-maker in the household, new technology and changing societal norms have transformed the shopper dynamic,” says Diana Medina, director of e-commerce solutions. “This new data is forcing marketers to think differently about their marketing and communication efforts. It’s opening up opportunities to engage with new audiences that were not part of the core target in the past.”

In addition to the increasing number of males taking on the role as the primary shopper/decision-maker and subsequently leveraging the online channel for grocery shopping, results also highlight data supporting the idea that men commonly plan out their meals prior to shopping and turn to outside resources when doing so, indicating similar behavior to that of female shoppers.

Other notable findings from the survey include:

  • Male shoppers are as likely as female shoppers to plan their meals ahead of time, as 68% of both genders plan their meals in advance.
  • Men commonly turn to outside resources for planning their meals. For instance, 26% indicated they use meal planning services and 26% marked that they use meal kits. A further 53% of male respondents indicated that they would add semi-prepared meals to their online grocery order if the option was available.
  • Men (41%) are more likely to purchase alcoholic beverages online than their female counterparts.
  • 67% of men reported that they spent between $50-200 during a typical online shopping trip. In addition, roughly 30% of male online grocery shoppers surveyed spend 25% or more of their total monthly grocery bill online.
  • 31% of males indicated that the frequency of their online shopping would increase over the next year.