While non-food items, particularly personal care and home care products, remain tops in online purchases, IRI E-Market Insights sees "signs of significant growth" for fresh and frozen items – which still rank among the bottom of e-commerce sales categories.
Pet food already is a top online item, but sales of fresh and frozen items are being aided by the click-and-collect option offered by many brick-and-mortar retailers.
"It’s no surprise that 38 percent of all consumers like ordering online and picking up in the store, because it is convenient and is a good way to avoid shipping fees," the resulting report says. "In fact, 49 percent of millennials, 48 percent of Gen Xers, 38 percent of boomers and 24 percent of seniors feel the same."
Millennials and Gen Xers, the two generations most likely to find value in shopping online, are also the generations that report having the most difficulty affording needed groceries (34 percent of millennials, 36 percent of Gen Xers).
54 percent of millennials and Gen Xers report they are less likely to make impulse purchases when buying online. With this in mind, e-commerce should be touted as a tool for helping shoppers stick to their budget. Overall, 50 percent of total respondents report they are less likely to make impulse purchases online, including 49 percent of boomers and 44 percent of seniors.
“E-commerce sales will continue to climb in 2019 and beyond, with retailers increasingly investing in better ways to engage shoppers, including with improved navigation and mobile access, delivery and payment options, and endless aisle assortments,” said Sam Gagliardi, head of e-commerce for IRI.