Amazon leads online grocery shopping in Canada: Survey
E-commerce giant beats out Walmart and Loblaw's in recent survey conducted by NRG
While Amazon may be a relative newcomer to the Canadian grocery game, it is dominating online grocery shopping, according to new research.
In the online survey of 1,004 Canadians, 62% of respondents who buy groceries online said they shopped at Amazon, while just 37% said Walmart, and 23% said Loblaw’s.
Amazon and Walmart’s most-preferred status should be cause for concern with Canada’s traditional grocery brands, said Sandra Kesselman, vice-president at Vancouver market research company NRG, which conducted the survey. On its own, Amazon had a bigger share of online shoppers than the traditional grocers combined.
“Amazon is years ahead of the traditional grocery stores in terms of e-commerce,” she said. “Canned goods, cleaning supplies and personal care categories have been popular at Amazon for years. With the Whole Foods acquisition, they might became even stronger.”
The familiar Canadian grocery brands, on the other hand, really only introduced their online offerings a few years ago, and what they offer has limitations in terms of regional availability and in-store pickup versus delivery.
That was, in relative terms, the “very beginning of this ‘new era’” of online grocery shopping, said Kesselman.
“So a jump from 15% to 28% in 18 months, with all the media support we have witnessed, sounds very reasonable,” she said. “Also, the services Canadians consider important, such as pricing, assortment, convenience, have steadily improved.”
According to the NRG findings, an additional 27% of respondents who haven’t shopped for groceries online said they were willing to do so soon. “If I were a traditional business, that’s what I’d be watching,” said Kesselman.
Convenience was the most cited reason for online grocery shoppers at 79%, followed by price and time savings, both 74%.
In terms of what they are shopping for, personal and canned goods were the most often cited at 51%, while fresh meat and seafood were last at just 20%. For those considering online grocery shopping, 60% said home delivery would encourage them to try and 54% said more competitive prices.
As recently as 2015, Canada’s large grocery retailers were unsure about e-commerce.
While Loblaw has partnered with Instacart to provide delivery to more of its customers, CEO Galen Weston has said delivery complemented its existing click-and-collect options. “We have a high level of conviction around the attractiveness of click and collect proposition,” he said. “If you look around the world it’s significant part of online grocery shopping in pretty much every region and every country.” The company offers the service at 300 stores and is adding to new locations at a rate of one per day.