Online food and grocery shopping_laptop with various food items

75% of senior industry figures predict more manufacturers will be selling directly to consumers

UK online grocery sales will grow 48% to be worth £15bn and account for 7.5% of the total grocery market by 2022, according to latest forecasts from IGD.

A survey of 223 senior industry figures also pointed to dramatic changes to online grocery over the next five years, with 75% also predicting more manufacturers would sell directly to consumers.

Seventy-eight per cent thought shoppers would use price comparison sites to find the cheapest retailer more frequently and 67% believed a common delivery service would underpin a wide range of retailers.

The experts forecast more personalisation, with 69% believing some retailers would apply personalised pricing and promotions in future and 77% thinking almost all digital communication to consumers would be personal.

The survey, conducted by IGD in association with The Consumer Goods Forum, also predicted online grocery to grow by 129% in the US and 286% in China, to become 2% and 11.1% of the countries’ total grocery markets respectively.

“AI will help unlock personalisation,” said IGD online retail insight manager Simon Mayhew. “The store’s layout will be dynamic and able to predict the customer’s reason for shopping. So, if you need a meal for tonight, your homepage will display only the relevant solutions.

“When generally browsing, you will only see the products and pack sizes likely to meet your needs. Many products will only be buyable online where there is no constraint on shelf space, and in high-value categories, there will be customisable products, so you can create your own ideal shampoo or cereal.”