Physical trips to the grocery store are still the preferred mode of buying supplies for a chunk of urban Indians even with the convenience of delivery apps, according to a small survey by YouGov.
Groceries ranked second in the list of products, which consumers surveyed spent more on in the preceding two weeks, according to data from YouGov's Covid19 Consumer Monitor. The findings are based on data collected from a sample of 3,000 respondents in the weeks to June 1 and June 15.
Health and wellness products such as medicines, sanitisers were the top category across both offline and online purchase channels (62 per cent and 54 per cent, respectively).
Interestingly, a majority (58 per cent) preferred shopping for groceries offline by visiting a store or placing an order on the phone. Of these, 36 per cent respondents said flexibility to pay at the local store at their convenience was the top reason for not buying groceries online.
The findings threw up a surprise as the pandemic accelerated e-grocery sales as urban city dwellers in the country bought essential items online to avoid catching the coronavirus.
To be sure, a large proportion (42 per cent) ordered online through delivery apps. They rated safety (63 per cent) and convenience (51 per cent) as the biggest reasons for choosing this mode, according to the survey.
The findings suggested that consumers are looking for hassle-free ways to shop without worrying about cash in hand. "This presents a great opportunity for online shopping platforms with 'buy now pay later' feature and they can encourage consumers to switch online by providing a convenient shopping experience amidst the pandemic," the report said.
As many as 37 per cent of the total respondents, who said their grocery spends have increased, claimed to make a purchase at least once a week. Just as many did so more often saying several times a week (31 per cent), while 13 per cent said at least once a day.
Online grocery is a hotly contested business within India's e-commerce market, which is seen growing by 30 per cent a year to $200 billion by 2026. Deep-pocketed giants like Amazon, Reliance, Jio Platforms-Facebook, Walmart-backed Flipkart and BigBasket are all vying for a piece of this large unorganised retail pie in India.
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