New research from eMarketer, Inc., New York, suggests concerns over quality are hindering grocery e-commerce, as many shoppers are wary of buying fresh and frozen goods online, thereby preventing full-basket shopping trips.

A survey conducted by Bizrate Insights, Los Angeles, found that online grocery shoppers are twice as likely to buy non-perishables as perishable items. Among shoppers who had purchased groceries online in the past month, 84% bought non-perishables and just 45% bought perishables.

A separate survey conducted the same month by Bizrate Insights and Varcode, Israel, found that 25.8% of internet users said they had purchased fresh or frozen goods online for home delivery before, including meat (57%), refrigerated foods (56%) and frozen foods (55%).

Among the nearly three-quarters of respondents who have never ordered groceries online for delivery, concerns about freshness and quality appear to be major impediments to adoption. The same Varcode survey found that 55% of internet users who haven’t ordered fresh or frozen groceries for home delivery cited temperature and freshness as reasons for not having done so. That number is even higher (59.4%) among 18- to 34-year-olds, who represent a key demographic currently driving growth in grocery e-commerce. 

Another survey by eMarketer and Bizrate Insights conducted in March asked online shoppers which aspects of online grocery shopping are better than in-store. Shoppers were least likely to believe the food is fresher when they buy it online. What’s more, the Varcode survey found that 7.7% of shoppers who bought fresh or frozen food online for home delivery thought they or someone they know had gotten sick from eating food that “arrived too warm or spoiled.”