Multichannel shopping in 2019 and beyond

Date : 19 June 2019

I am lucky to see first-hand some of the great innovation adopted by our industry and how this is helping the needs of shoppers.

While I personally quite enjoy shopping for food and groceries, there are times when it is feels like a bit of a chore. It can sometimes be a bit daunting trying to find all the products I need.

Our latest monthly shopper sentiment update shows that less than half (44%) of shoppers say they enjoy food and grocery shopping. Of the remainder, 20% are undecided and more than a third (35%) don’t enjoy shopping.

Looking for time saving

I sometimes feel that shopping for food and groceries can take up more time than I had planned for. So how time intensive is food and grocery shopping?

Shoppers spend 18.3 hours a month food and grocery shopping. That’s according to data we collected on more than 2,270 shopping trips while researching our five-part multichannel shopping report. Only a third of that time (7.2 hours) is spent actually choosing the products. We spend a lot more time planning, travelling and unpacking the shopping.

I look to save time by shopping across different channels including convenience stores and online. Again, I am not alone in this pursuit. Our first multichannel report,  Unlocking shopper behaviour by channel, found that the majority of shoppers use multiple channels each month. On average, people are conducting 24 shopping trips per month.  Most trips each month are made to larger stores and convenience stores.

People save time shopping in convenience stores and online. Our research reveals that online shoppers save 23 minutes on average shopping online for their main shop compared to doing it in a large store. On average, shoppers spend eight minutes shopping at a convenience store.

The future of multichannel shopping

So, will this shift in behaviour mean an end to shopping in more traditional channels such as larger stores?


The short answer is no.


Our latest channel forecasts reveal that large stores - supermarkets and hypermarkets – will account for half of the market (50.1%) in 2024. We need to remember that despite the growth of discount stores, the average shopper still visits larger stores 10 times a month, three times as many as food discount stores.


In our second multichannel report, UK Channel Opportunities – the shopper view, shoppers tell us that they are looking for better value, more time saving and an easier shopping experience at larger stores.


Our new forecasts show that online and discount will contribute almost two-thirds of cash growth and will boost their combined market share from 18.6% to 23.4% over the next five years. Over a fifth (21%) of shoppers say they currently use food discounters for the majority of their shopping (2019), and 26% say this will be the case in 2021-2022. According to shoppers, the benefits to shopping more with food discounters in future are good value, time saving and a concise range. Shoppers believe the key benefits of shopping more online in future are good value, time saving and ease of shop.

The convenience channel will deliver the second biggest gain in sales over the next five years as retailers update their stores to meet the demand for smaller and more frequent shopping trips.


So how can you prepare for this multichannel future?

To help prepare for the future, we would advise focusing on the following key areas:

  • Build into your plans the likelihood that people will be shopping across more channels than they do currently
  • Understand how specific channel plans are being applied in different channels
  • Keep shopping as simple as possible so people feel they’re making the best possible use of their time


To understand more about multichannel shopping, the remaining three reports in our series will explore how it aligns with the three core shopper needs of value, convenience and choice:

  1. Delivering value to the multichannel shopper
  2. Creating convenience across channels
  3. Delivering choice for shoppers


ShopperVista subscribers can access the first two of our multichannel shopping reports here. If you aren’t a subscriber but would like to find out more about this research and more, don’t hesitate to drop me or the shopper team a line at [email protected]

Michael Freedman

Michael Freedman

Senior Shopper Insight Manager


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