The most purchased grocery items by the online shopper

The top three categories for grocery items that shoppers purchase online in the UK are canned foods, baby food/baby care products and frozen foods - and following closely behind are alcoholic beverages. It makes sense for these to be the leading categories online, as the typical online shopper is purchasing bulky, heavy, shelf stable and long life products for the convenience of home delivery. This convenience has been the primary reason for the growth of online grocery shopping in recent years in the UK.

Categories such as baby food/baby care products and alcoholic beverages are particularly interesting for brands that are looking to understand more about online category management, as they are known as 'Gateway Categories'. This means items that new online shoppers are most likely to be searching for. Sleep deprived new mums and young students who want to order a crate of beer on a Friday night are typical examples of consumers that are most likely to make the decision to start shopping online for the first time.

According to a recent report by Dunnhumby, brands are seeing an increase ranging from 20 to 50% of their total sales from the online channel. In order to get online shoppers to choose your products over your competitorsand remain loyal to your brand when they continue to shop online, it is crucial for you to get your products at the forefront of their attention on supermarket websites.

Even if your brand doesn't fall into one of the categories I've mentioned above, the obvious questions to ask when it comes to online category management would be: Apart from baby formula, what else are new mums adding to their basket before they reach the online checkout so I can ensure they notice our products too? How can I suggest and advertise our snacks or soft drinks to complement alcoholic spirits, or our sauces and flavourings to complement the frozen meats and fishes that the 'typical' online customer is purchasing online? In other words, how can the impulse sales that people purchase in-store as they browse through the aisles be translated online?

The rise of 'Click and Collect' suggests that a significant amount of online shoppers are also likely to buy their 'grocery essentials' online, the most of popular of which are tea and coffee, cereals and cigarettes. The aim of the busy city worker who decides to start shopping online, for example, is to save time walking through the in-store aisles and avoiding the long in-store queues, rather than just the convenience of having their products delivered to their home.

So, if you want to learn how to increase your products’ visibility on supermarket websites, then don't miss the opportunity to join us at My Digital Grocery Shelf 2015 on 18th June in London. At the conference, the e-commerce experts from ASDA, Waitrose, MySupermarket, Dunnhumby, Brand Bank and more will be teaching you how to position your brand strategically on the online grocery shelf to ensure it is noticed by the online shopper and reaches their checkout basket.

For more information on the key topics that will be discussed at the event, visit the website here or get in touch with me directly on

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