Online grocery sales will double over the next five years, a new study has claimed.

Annual sales online will soar to £7.2bn by 2014 – almost double last year’s total –  the IGD’s Online Shopping 2009 survey predicted.

While just 13% of consumers shopped online for groceries last year, more than a third (34%) expect to do so over the next five to 10 years. Seven percent expect to do all their grocery shopping online within that period.

But while a quarter of those polled said that they wanted to buy groceries online, they were deterred by what they perceived to be the extra effort involved.

“There is a great opportunity for grocery retailers and manufacturers to encourage shoppers to try online food shopping,” said IGD chief executive Joanne Denney-Finch.

“People are increasingly mixing the channels they use for their weekly or monthly shop. Many are choosing to visit their local store on a regular basis, while purchasing a number of bulk items, like tinned foods and toiletries, online less frequently.”

She added: “The future of grocery shopping is ‘multi-channel’, with people shopping in different ways and using various outlets – whether convenience stores, online or hypermarkets.”

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