Online orders for groceries are being driven by utility as 80 per cent of those who ordered online during lockdown did it for convenience as opposed to price and selection, according to a survey by LocalCircles.
The survey revealed that 52 per cent online grocery shoppers found the ecommerce grocery apps useful during lockdown. 32 per cent online grocery shoppers placed one or more orders every week during the lockdown while 38 per cent found fruits and veggies delivered via ecommerce grocery apps to be of poor quality.
LocalCircles conducted a survey to get consumer pulse on their experience of buying groceries online during the lockdown. The 5-poll survey received more than 39,000 votes from 220 districts across the country.
The survey asked consumers about the key reason for them or their family to order groceries online during the lockdown. 80 per cent said it was convenience like doorstep/contactless delivery while 14 per cent said availability and selection. Only 2 per cent said better price was their main reason.
One of the inputs from consumers has been that during the lockdown, many ecommerce grocery apps have increased prices by reducing the discounts or in many cases, completely eliminating them. As a result, very few consumers ordered groceries using these apps because they were getting a deal but used them because of the convenience of doorstep delivery and not having to step out.
Many other platforms like food delivery also ventured into delivering essentials instead of only shipping cooked food to consumers during the lockdown. Similarly, many local ecommerce grocery apps or platforms emerged during the lockdown and facilitated home delivery of groceries to consumers.
Based on the consumer conversations on LocalCircles, just like Work From Home and Video Conferences are here to stay as alternate models for work and meetings, ordering groceries online is also likely to become a habit for many.
“Now that we are in the third phase of the lockdown and restrictions are slowly being eased out, many consumers feel that the grocery delivery apps will play an important role in keeping people from visiting crowded markets,” Local Circles said.
Consumers were also asked what category of products did they experience most quality issues with when ordering them during the lockdown.
Fruits and vegetables came out to be the grocery category where consumers faced most quality issues while buying online. 4 per cent said milk & dairy, 10 per cent said grains & spices, 17 per cent said packaged foods while 8 per cent said others. 23 per cent did not have a quality concern.
Many consumers specifically have stated the below average quality of fruits and vegetables delivered via ecommerce grocery apps.
Availability levels of grocery items during lockdown continued to be a challenge with ecommerce or online grocery products with only 58 per cent consumers being able to get what they wanted via ecommerce apps in the LocalCircles survey on April 20. The percentage had slipped to 21 per cent right before the start of lockdown when a lot of Indians did panic buying via ecommerce grocery apps.
Consumers were asked as to how often do they or their family order groceries online during the lockdown. 31 per cent said they do it once a month, 24 per cent do it once a week and 8 per cent do it several times a week. 35 per cent said they rarely do it.
This means that 32 per cent of online groceries shoppers place one or more orders every week during the lockdown. With the nationwide lockdown, many families decided to stay at home completely relying on platforms for placing orders for groceries online and some placing multiple orders every week.
Next question asked consumers what was the key issue they faced when they purchased groceries online during the lockdown. 13 per cent said high prices, 18 per cent said poor quality, 8 per cent said long time taken while 18 per cent said selection. 43 per cent said they did not have concerns and were happy ordering groceries online during the lockdown.
Source: The Economic Times