New research claims the value of sales from online grocery retailing will double by 2016 to £11.2bn, up from the estimated £5.9bn for this year.

A study by IGD, the grocery analysts, found that the online grocery market will account for 3.8% of total grocery spend in the UK and is projected to increase to 6% by 2016.

It also claimed that more than four in 10 adults (44%) intend to shop online for their groceries in the next five to 10 years, compared to just 17% who are currently doing so and that almost two-thirds (64%) use two or more online supermarkets to shop for their food and groceries, with almost half (47%) saying they would like to try another online supermarket.

IGD said that smartphone applications came top of the list by manufacturers when asked what would have the greatest impact on the online channel in the future.

Joanne Denney-Finch, chief executive of IGD, said:  “A digital explosion is taking place and technology is advancing in leaps and bounds. Just in the last 12 months we’ve seen an array of innovations in the online arena and we expect this to continue.

“Although online grocery retailing only accounts for 3.8% of the total grocery market, it is the fastest-growing grocery channel and one which will be used more widely in the future as shoppers become increasingly multi-channel. Our research shows us that even those shoppers who don’t currently buy their groceries online (33%) intend to do so in the future.
“As the market is constantly changing, it’s still difficult to predict exactly what online grocery retailing will look like in the next few years. What is exciting, however, is how the digital revolution will evolve and shape our industry in the years to come.”

IGD also claimed:

• A third (33%) of food and grocery manufacturers would consider developing their own e-stores and selling their products directly to shoppers, up from a quarter (27%) in November last year.

• 61% of manufacturers say the pace of growth in online grocery retailing in the next five years will accelerate year-on-year