Voice-activated devices could play a key role in grocery shopping from home in future with more than a quarter of all shoppers open to “conversational commerce”, IGD’s latest research shows.
Voice-activated devices, such as Amazon Echo, are just one way shoppers are looking to innovate in the way they buy their food, said IGD.
The food and grocery research group found 28% of shoppers claimed to be interested in using such technology for purchases at home.
Vanessa Henry, shopper insight manager at the IGD, said Amazon’s proposed $13.7bn (£10.8bn) acquisition of Texas-headquartered Whole Foods Market demonstrated how the blend of online and offline grocery shopping were moving closer.
“Our research highlights just how much food is at the forefront of shopper thinking when considering what technological advances might be available in future.”
The online grocery market is worth £10.4bn, according to the IGD, and 41% of all British shoppers said they had bought some of their food and groceries online in the past month.
Some 19% envisaged it was likely they might buy food and groceries online and get them delivered to a secure refrigerated locker near their home in the next two to three years.
Twenty-four per cent said they saw themselves signing up to an online subscription service to get grocery products they use regularly delivered automatically.
Other findings show 60% predicted they would shop online for some of their groceries in the next two to three years, and the online grocery channel would grow 53.8% to be worth £16bn by 2022.
This represented a growth in share of the total grocery market from 5.6% to 7.5% and also highlighted the ongoing critical importance of physical shops, it said.
But it was not just online shopping platforms that shoppers associated most with technological advancements for making food and grocery purchases.
The IGD identified the use of technology in-store to be of key interest to shoppers: 48% said they were interested in using touch-screens in-store to find out more information about products, and 43% showed interest in using their mobile to scan and pay for items without going through the till.
Toby Pickard, IGD senior innovations and trends analyst, said: “We live in an increasingly on-demand and connected world where consumers expect a frictionless shopping experience.
“We’ve identified one-click ordering and voice ordering as a global trend that is helping shoppers to achieve this. What appeals most to shoppers who are positive about this technology is the potential for convenience and ease, therefore the simplicity of one-click and voice ordering could be a winning formula.”
Companies using innovations like these could lock shoppers in to achieve loyalty, and for those looking to succeed in this area, delivery systems would need to become “smarter, more flexible, efficient and responsive”, Pickard said.