More than half of millennial consumers said they plan to increase their online shopping this year, according to research from IRI Worldwide. The research found younger consumers are more likely to see opportunities for savings and convenience in online shopping than their older counterparts. While 20 percent of consumers overall said buying items online allows them to find lower priced food and beverage products, that figure increased to 30 percent for millennials and 26 percent for Gen Xers . Consumer confidence is holding steady, with 53 percent of U.S. households feeling they’re in good financial health in the fourth quarter of 2017, compared with the same figure in fourth quarter of 2016, according to IRI's Consumer Connect survey results.
Despite the stable outlook, consumers are still mindful about their spending and are turning to the Internet for money-saving opportunities, IRI reports. In fact, 28 percent of consumers say they buy grocery items online compared with 23 percent in the first quarter of 2016, so the survey also delved into the latest trends in buying groceries, home care and personal care items online.
"When consumers think about online CPG shopping, they have specific ideas about what is helpful in their lives," said Susan Viamari, vice president of thought leadership at IRI. "There really is no one-size-fits-all answer, so it's critical to understand what it is that makes your key shoppers tick."
In addition, more than half of millennials and Gen Xers — 55 and 52 percent, respectively — agreed that shopping online with in-store pickup provides more convenience without the added delivery fee. That compared with 36 percent of baby boomers and 25 percent of seniors.
Millennials were also more likely to report that shopping online makes it easier to find needed items, and 63 percent of millennials said they would switch to a new brand if they read a favorable review of it online. Gen Xers were almost as likely to switch, at 61 percent, compared with 40 percent of boomers and 30 percent of seniors.
The survey also revealed consumers think shopping online provides the added benefit of reducing their impulse purchases. Overall, 51 percent of total shoppers, 54 percent of millennials, 55 percent of Gen Xers, 52 percent of baby boomers and 46 percent of seniors say they make fewer unplanned purchases online.
The internet will play a growing role in the CPG purchase process in the following ways in 2018:
• 55 percent of consumers will download coupons from retailer/manufacturer websites;
• 51 percent of consumers will compare prices on retailer websites to find the lowest prices on needed items;
• 24 percent of consumers will order online for home delivery;
• 22 percent will order online and pick up in store;
• 12 percent will use online subscription services for some grocery purchases; and
• 6 percent will use online meal kit delivery services.