Global Online Grocery Retail | Verdict Sector Report

Use our country profiling to identify markets with the most potential Use in-depth analysis and insight to identify those retailers with the ability to expand globally Understand the issues surrounding click & collect to uncover its potential and make your online business profitable


Population growth will shape retailer expansion plans over the coming years, with different countries becoming suitable for online grocery at different times. Online relies on many different criteria to be fulfilled in order to be a success, one of the key ones is socially and technologically active group of younger consumers.

Retailers will need to tailor solutions to differing population densities both on a national and international level. Low density areas will be well suited to collection points which mitigate the need for long delivery journeys, while higher density areas will have a need for fast fulfilment to prove an alternative to convenience retailing

Online is not just about having a transactional website. Those retailers without one, and without the ability to invest still need to have a significant and active online presence. This needs to be via their own websites as well as through social media. Engaging shoppers on both will be fundamental to increasing footfall

Reasons to buy

Which countries will be the best for online grocery in the next 5, 10, 15 and 25 years owing to their projected population growth

How can retailers adapt their models in countries where population density doesn't immediately suit itself to online grocery

Which retailers will be able to expand their models internationally in order to take advantage of growing middle classes in emerging markets

What impact will Amazon have on the global online grocery market and how will it be able to adapt its model to aid smaller retailers to move online

Table of Contents

1 Overview

2 Key Findings

2.1 Shoppers need a seamless experience

2.1.1 Perfecting the customer journey will align instore and online offers

2.2 Retailers must overcome resistance to online

2.2.1 Population growth must shape online expansion plans

2.3 Retailers need to adapt strategy to meet local requirements

2.3.1 Regional population density variations will provide challenges

2.4 Morrisons deal opens up Ocado for global expansion

2.4.1 Pureplay retailers have a significant future

2.5 Click & collect must become a bigger fulfilment channel

2.5.1 Retailers must use alternatives to loss-making home delivery

2.5.2 Online visual merchandising remains poor

2.5.3 Interactivity brings instore service online

2.5.4 Customers must be able to shop between channels

2.6 Online doesn’t necessarily mean transactional

2.6.1 Social media connects retailers and shoppers

2.6.2 Shoppers would rather engage than buy

2.6.3 Word of mouth speaks volumes

3 Population Growth Should Shape Retailers' Expansion Plans

3.1 Retailers must overcome resistance to online shopping

3.1.1 Ageing population creates more resistance to adoption of online shopping

3.1.2 Retailers must identify markets where demand is not catered for

3.1.3 Younger populations will drive the growth in online shopping

3.2 Which countries are ready for online shopping now?

3.2.1 Poland’s robust economy will support online shopping

3.2.2 Turkey ready for online shopping, with a growing time-poor middle class

3.2.3 Significant opportunities as well as challenges await in Australia

3.2.4 Not all markets will work though

3.3 Which countries will be ready for online shopping in 2020?

3.3.1 Arab states offer opportunities for retailers

3.3.2 Restrictions on women’s rights provide opportunities in Saudi Arabia

3.4 Which countries will be ready for online shopping in 2025?

3.4.1 Two examples of demand that is not currently catered for

3.4.2 India opening up provides retailers with opportunities

3.4.3 Mobile growth must be the focus in South Africa

4 Regional Density Variations Provide Challenges for Retailers

4.1 Retailers must adapt their strategy to meet local requirements

4.1.1 There is not a one size fits all solution

4.1.2 The developed UK model might not work elsewhere

4.1.3 Retailers must be prudent in their approach to expansion

4.1.4 Changing traditional shopping habits will take time

4.1.5 Convenience will win out

4.1.6 Fresh food remains a big challenge for retailers

4.2 High population densities are the ideal testing ground

4.2.1 Well-connected areas provide online shopping opportunities

4.2.2 Retailers must invest in efficient fulfilment methods

4.2.3 Despite nationwide coverage, regional differences will still exist

4.2.4 Pureplays can work in densely populated areas

4.2.5 Use of own delivery fleet not a necessity

4.2.6 German example highlights that success is not guaranteed

4.3 Retailers must be innovative to succeed in tougher locations

4.3.1 Provides a much tougher proposition for retailers

4.3.2 Using separate delivery companies will ease the pressure

4.3.3 Lower expectations of online shopping

4.3.4 Collection points can provide convenience

4.3.5 Local solutions can fill gaps in the market

4.3.6 High demand for online shopping in Brazil

5 Leasing the Pureplay Model

5.1 Morrisons deal opens up Ocado for expansion

5.1.1 Ocado is no longer a retailer

5.1.2 UK model provides template in two ways

5.1.3 Morrisons online model shows partnership potential

5.2 Ocado unlikely to enter organically

5.2.1 Not profitable without store based offer

5.2.2 Product sourcing and competition challenges

5.3 Grocery retailers with no online offer is the logical step

5.3.1 Ocado model provides a quick route to market

5.3.2 Investment in fulfilment centres

5.3.3 Fast and scalable expansion for the retailer

5.3.4 Fast and scalable expansion for Ocado

5.3.5 Managing shopper expectations from the start

5.4 Non-grocery retailers with growing competition

5.4.1 Simple entry to grocery market

5.4.2 Technical excellence gives edge over established grocers

5.4.3 Product sourcing will be an issue

5.5 Ocado not the only provider with potential

5.5.1 Others can develop similar systems…

5.5.2 …But high levels of investment are required

5.5.3 Amazon offer has potential

5.5.4 Teaming up with smaller retailers essential

5.5.5 Model is replicable

6 What's the Collection Point?

6.1 Click & collect must become a significant fulfilment channel

6.1.1 Retailers must make it easier to click & collect

6.1.2 Same day collection encourages widespread use

7 Methodology

7.1 Verdict e-retail data

8 Appendix

8.1 About Verdict Retail

8.2 Disclaimer

List of Tables

Table 1: Rankings for the extent to which online shopping currently happens and how appealing it would be, 2013

List of Figures

Figure 1: Sainsbury’s multiples of spend by channel, 2013

Figure 2: Boneless pork on, 2013

Figure 3: Morrisons interactive online butcher, 2013

Figure 4: Aldi UK, Kroger and Cod Centro Nord twitter feed, 2013

Figure 5: UN population forecasts and growth rates to 2050 based on median fertility

Figure 6: transactiol website, 2013

Figure 7: Migros promoting its online delivery service

Figure 8: Australian supermarket Coles encouraging online shopping

Figure 9: Carrefour operates in Saudi Arabia through franchise partner Majid Al Futtaim

Figure 10: Farm2Kitchen, India’s first organic only food & grocery retailer

Figure 11: Pick n Pay promoting its non-transactiol mobile app

Figure 12: Comparison of Australia, the UK and South Korea, 2013

Figure 13: Extension of Tesco virtual stores at a bus stop in South Korea, 2012

Figure 14: Woolworths in Australia advertising extended regiol coverage for home delivery

Figure 15: Webvan’s revived website after Amazon buyout, 2013

Figure 16: transactiol website in Singapore, 2013

Figure 17: Website of after going out of business, 2013

Figure 18: Asda’s standalone collection point at Green Park business hub in Reading, UK, 2013

Figure 19: South Devon butcher Gribble’s website, 2013

Figure 20: Igluu promotiol video on vimeo, 2013

Figure 21: Possible routes to market for Ocado, 2013

Figure 22: Alysis of global online grocery demand by country, 2013

Figure 23: AmazonFresh, 2014

Figure 24: AmazonFresh Seattle Spotlight, 2013

Figure 25: Food & grocery shoppers’ most frequent online shopping method (%), 2013

Figure 26: Preferred method of fulfilment for existing home delivery users (%), 2013

Figure 27: Peapod Pick-up location in the US, 2013

Figure 28: Carrefour drive click & collect location in France, 2013

Figure 29: Asda’s standalone collection point at Green Park business hub in Reading, UK, 2013

Figure 30: Carrefour drive locations in France, 2013

Figure 31: promoting free click & collect promotion, 2013

Figure 32: Amazon lockers

Figure 33: Tesco virtual store at a South Korean subway station

Figure 34: Majestic Wine website allows you to check product availability by store


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