COVID-19 boosts customer appetite for online grocery shopping in APAC countries, says GlobalData

The need to maintain social distance and stay at home due to the COVID-19 pandemic is increasingly forcing consumers across the Asia-Pacific (APAC) region to shift their shopping habits online. Therefore, contactless deliveries are ideal during lockdown measures, forcing people to embrace technology, and be more experimental with their purchases, says GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company.

It is essential for the brands to explore the various emerging consumer groups to establish new customers. Brands must also understand how to cater to the online users, whilst devising opportunities to reach out to those who may traditionally neglect online shopping.

Vijay Bhupathiraju, Retail Analyst at GlobalData, says: “Online shopping has become increasingly popular for grocery purchases amid the COVID-19 crisis. GlobalData’s COVID-19 weekly surveys (25 March 2020 – 31 May 2020) with a sample size of 5500 respondents revealed that consumers (global and APAC) are spending increasingly more time on the shopping of groceries online. This can be observed in the fall of respondents that claim to have never spent time on this and do not intend to do so in the future, which fell from 29%to 26% over 10 weeks.”

As the weeks progress, there has been a slight, but consistent, increase in online grocery shopping. This suggests that people are turning to e-commerce out of necessity or convenience when they previously would not have considered shopping online before the outbreak.

Interestingly, consumers in developing economies are most likely to shop for groceries online. Over half (52%) of Chinese consumers claimed to spend slightly/significantly more time on this than before followed by a third of Indian consumers.

Bhupathiraju concludes: “This may be due to a higher proportion of digital natives in their younger populations. This is also compounded by larger numbers of older consumers in developed nations that are more inclined to follow habitual entrenched behaviour. In view of this, it becomes essential for retailers to invest and expand their digital offerings to sustain the market and drive growth.”

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