In the next five years online grocery shopping is set to grow in value from £4.8 billion to £9.5 billion, according to research published today.
Analysis by international grocery experts IGD shows that improving internet connection speeds and wider delivery coverage offered by food retailers will help spur online sales in the sector.
Online shopping represent 3.2 per cent of the overall UK grocery market at present and IGD predicts that it will grow to 5.2 per cent by 2015.
Joanne Denney-Finch, CEO of IGD, commented: “Online grocery retailing is already growing at a phenomenal rate and there is still plenty of potential for significant expansion.
“Although online has a small share of the overall grocery market, it will be the fastest growing channel.
“IGD research found seven per cent of shoppers say they are buying all their regular groceries online.
“Our latest Shopper Track data shows 13 per cent say they will use the internet to do more of their food and grocery shopping over the next 12 months, mainly driven by 18 to 34-year-olds.
Last month, retail market analysts Verdict Research predicted that online grocery sales will rise to £7.4 billion by 2014, which it calculated would be an 81 per cent increase from 2009 levels.
Innovations in online grocery such as click and collect services and an increasing variety of mobile phone apps are making food shopping via the net easier and more attractive to consumers.
Malcolm Pinkerton, Senior Analyst at Verdict, said: “With shoppers leading increasingly busy life-styles, the popularity of shopping online for the weekly groceries is on the up.
“Supermarkets will need to fight to establish their online presence and steal market share from rivals.”