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More shoppers are engaging with online grocery shopping than ever before, the IGD summit heard

The UK’s online grocery market is set to grow by 53.8% to £16bn by 2022, research from IGD has forecast.

The research named online shopping, which currently accounts for £10.4bn of the £184.5bn UK grocery market, as the fastest-growing of all channels.

An IGD survey found shoppers are increasingly switching to online for their groceries, with two out of five (42%) using it every month.

Three out of five shoppers (60%) are intending to shop online and get home delivery over the next two to three years.

Existing online customers are also shopping more frequently than before, as 28% claim to shop once a week or more online - up from 20% in 2013.

And 29% of shoppers have cemented their loyalty by subscribing to an online delivery saver pass.

But physical stores remain an important part of grocery shopping habits. Four in ten shoppers said that they have used a mix of online and supermarkets or hypermarkets and convenience stores over the past month.

Speaking at IGD’s online and digital summit, IGD shopper insight manager Vanessa Henry said this trend was likely to continue.

“More shoppers are engaging with online grocery shopping than ever before. What’s really interesting though is that, on the whole, online is not being used in isolation,” she said.

“What we call ‘omnichannel shoppers’ are having a big impact on the grocery market, with over half (54%) of shoppers claiming that they use five or more different channels every month, as well as buying from 12 different store brands on average. Retailers should therefore consider how they are driving loyalty so that they become the brand of choice, for example with online delivery saver passes or special promotions.”

IGD’s senior innovations and trends analyst Toby Pickard said online was a “great area to invest in” for retailers and suppliers. “By creating new products and services which offer personalisation, efficiency and speed, businesses are more likely to meet the dynamic and changing expectations of shoppers, and ultimately benefit from the growth opportunities the world of online grocery has to offer.”