52% of UK Consumers Shop for Groceries Online More Than They Did in 2020

British consumers have been increasing their usage of online shopping for groceries for close to two years, since the pandemic began in March 2020.

In fact, 52% of U.K. consumers are shopping for groceries online more frequently than they were before March 2020, while 7% are doing it less often and 40% do it about the same, according to What U.K. Consumers Expect From Their Grocery Shopping Experiences, a PYMNTS and ACI Worldwide collaboration.

Get the study: What U.K. Consumers Expect From Their Grocery Shopping Experiences

There’s also been a pandemic-related change in U.K. consumers’ habits when it comes to visiting the store and paying there. Twenty-six percent say they do this less often, while less than 1% say they do it more often. Sixty-four percent say they visit the store and pay there about the same as they did before March 2020.

Today, 32% of U.K. shoppers prefer to shop for their groceries online. PYMNTS research found a broad disparity in how consumers pay for the five methods tracked. Sixty-three percent of consumers use a mobile device to buy groceries with a third-party subscription service, and 22% use a laptop or desktop, which is the widest disparity for any of the five purchase methods.

Two factors are most commonly cited for influencing this shift to online grocery shopping. Sixty-six percent of consumers in the U.K. report doing more online grocery shopping because it’s easier and more convenient, while 64% say they do it because they worry about contracting COVID-19 when shopping in stores.

Shoppers’ interest in buying groceries online for these reasons varies across different demographic groups. Seventy-four percent of Generation Z consumers cite ease and convenience as a reason for shopping for groceries online—a higher share than is seen in any other age group. Seventy-seven percent of baby boomers and seniors say their fears about contracting COVID-19 cause them to shop for groceries online — a significantly higher share than any other age group.