Over 25% of shoppers open to conversational commerce, says IGD

According to IGD, 28% of shoppers are interested in using voice-activated devices at home to add food or grocery items to their online baskets.

The new research suggests ‘conversational commerce’ is just one innovative technology improving grocery convenience for shoppers – others include refrigerated click & collect lockers and online grocery subscription services where customers receive deliveries automatically.

IGD’s analysis suggests the grocery market is now worth £10.4 billion, while in the last month alone, 41% of British shoppers have bought some of their groceries online, with 60% of consumers believing they will be shopping online for groceries in the next two or three years.

“With the recent news that Amazon is set to purchase Whole Foods Market, we see the blend of on and offline grocery shopping moving closer to shoppers and our research highlights just how much food is at the forefront of shopper thinking when considering what technological advances might be available in future,” said Vanessa Henry, shopper insight manager at IGD.

“The more time-deprived, budget-focused and busier in general shoppers become, the more appealing the convenience of online is, so it’s no surprise that we’re anticipating growth in this area,” she continued. “Knowing what shoppers are looking for in this channel, retailers must now look to deliver solutions online that help them browse and make purchases quickly and easily while offering value for money.”

IGD has forecasted online grocery to continue to grow by 53.8% to be worth £16 billion by 2022, representing a growth in total market share from 5.6% to 7.5%. But this figure proves stores will remain integral for grocery shoppers, and this channel will also need to keep up with technology change, as 48% of customers are keen to use in-store touch screens to learn more about products, while 43% want to use their mobile devices to scan and pay for items without queuing at the till point.

Meanwhile, 44% of shoppers want to receive personalised offers on their phone in different parts of the store. And over a fifth of shoppers are open to the idea of drones and robots delivering their weekly food shops.

Toby Pickard, senior innovations and trends analyst at IGD, added: “We live in an increasingly ‘on-demand’ and connected world where consumers expect a frictionless shopping experience. We’ve identified one-click ordering and voice ordering as a global trend that is helping shoppers to achieve this. What appeals most to shoppers who are positive about this technology is the potential for convenience and ease, therefore the simplicity of one-click and voice ordering could be a winning formula. Companies utilising innovations like these can lock shoppers in to achieve loyalty, and for those looking to succeed in this area, delivery systems will need to become smarter, more flexible, efficient and responsive.”