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The future of grocery

Online grocery shopping

Continued increases in mobile adoption and broadband penetration, particularly in the developing regions, have also helped boost online grocery sales. Regionally, Asia-Pacific consistently exceeds the global average for adoption of all online retailing options. Ordering online for home delivery is the most commonly preferred flexible retailing option in the region, with particularly high usage in China. More than one-third (37%) of Asia-Pacific respondents, and even more in China (46%), say they use an online ordering and delivery service. Adoption levels for online automatic subscriptions are also particularly high in this region (22% vs. 14% globally), with China once again leading the way (30%).

Sales data reflect the phenomenal online growth of FMCG purchases in China. Between 2013 and 2014, e-commerce sales increased 40% for 17 major Nielsen tracking categories. Food is the primary growth engine. For example, while e-commerce's share of the liquid milk category is small (2%), it nearly doubled in size (+91%) between 2013 and 2014, leading the online growth of all FMCG categories. Chocolate is another food category that has performed particularly well online; in 2014, online chocolate sales contributed 17% of total category sales, with +59% year-over-year growth.

Why is online shopping for FMCG so prevalent in Asia-Pacific compared with the rest of the world? A few factors are at play. First, the region's rapid urbanization and high population density make the home delivery model economically viable, particularly when coupled with low labor costs, as has been the case in China. In addition, booming smartphone ownership and usage have created huge mobile commerce opportunities.

Finally, in China in particular, food safety concerns have driven consumers in search of high-quality goods online. Willingness to use digital retailing options in the future is highest in the developing markets in the Asia-Pacific (60% on average), Latin America (60%) and Africa/Middle East regions (59%), and trails in Europe (45%) and North America (52%).



Source : Nielsen, 2015

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