Reputation Survey: Online grocery shopping - In-store holds sway over online services

Only 28 per cent of consumers prefer to use online deliveries when buying groceries.

Variety: OnePoll's word cloud reveals public opinion
Variety: OnePoll's word cloud reveals public opinion

The majority of consumers prefer shopping in-store for groceries because they do not trust retailers to deliver the best produce, new research reveals.

PRWeek/OnePoll's latest survey came as Waitrose launched an ad campaign to compete with delivery partner Ocado. In February, Waitrose owner John Lewis sold its stake in Ocado, while its contract not to compete with the firm inside the M25 expires today (1 July). This week, Ocado also announced a deal to sell products from French supermarket Carrefour.

Seventy-two per cent of the 2,000 respondents to the survey said they preferred to shop in-store, while 69 per cent said they did not trust online grocery shopping services to provide them with the best produce available (eg, freshest, longest sell-by dates).

Waitrose may take comfort from this survey, in which 32 per cent of respondents said the brand offered the highest quality goods, compared with 19 per cent for Tesco. But 50 per cent said they used Tesco's delivery service most often, followed by Asda on 20 per cent and Sainsbury's with 15 per cent. Waitrose scored just four per cent and Ocado three per cent.

Overall, consumer appetite for online grocery shopping appeared low. Thirty per cent of respondents only used it 'sometimes', 17 per cent 'rarely' and 29 per cent said they never used it. Twenty-five per cent of those polled said they thought delivery charges were too high, while convenience (40 per cent) was named as the main reason consumers would use a delivery service.

Survey of 2,000 members of the public conducted by global research agency OnePoll


Convenience is still the main reason we use online shopping services. For the time-poor, they can be a saving grace. But beyond staple items, grocery shopping is still a very tactile and sensory experience.

This survey shows that consumers don't trust retailers to supply them with the freshest goods. We're savvy enough to know you need to buy from the back of the shelf, not the front, to get the freshest, longest lasting products.

And, if you're a saddo like me, a trip to the supermarket can provide a much-needed excuse to listen to some music, shimmy down the isles, and treat yourself to some browsing time, even if it's just for broccoli.

Clearly, Tesco still reigns supreme in people's minds as the best of the bunch. And, inevitably, perceptions of retailers' offline proposition are mirrored pretty much online.

But all online retailers are still missing major tricks. There's very little use of some of the amazing technology that could improve our online shopping experience.


72% of respondents said they preferred to shop for their groceries in-store rather than ordering online


69% did not trust online shopping services to deliver the best available produce (ie freshest, longest sell-by dates)


40% of those who ordered their groceries online did so because it was more convenient than shopping in-store


Which of the following online grocery shopping and delivery services has the best overall reputation?


Which of the following online grocery shopping and delivery services do you think ... you use most often?

Tesco 50%

Sainsbury's 15%

Asda 20%

Waitrose 4%

Other (incl Co-op & Ocado) 5%

No opinion 6%

Which of the following online grocery shopping and delivery services do you think ... offers the most reasonably priced goods?

Tesco 36%

Sainsbury's 9%

Asda 31%

Waitrose 3%

Other (incl Co-op & Ocado) 4%

No opinion 17%

Which of the following online grocery shopping and delivery services do you think ... offers the highest quality goods?

Tesco 19%

Sainsbury's 13%

Asda 12.5%

Waitrose 32%

Other (incl Co-op & Ocado) 8.5%

No opinion 15%

Which of the following online grocery shopping and delivery services do you think ... operates in the most ethical manner?

Tesco 14%

Sainsbury's 7%

Asda 10%

Waitrose 10%

Other (incl Co-op & Ocado) 24%

No opinion 35%.

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