Online groceries save time, money: survey

Research suggests around six in 10 Australians are looking to save time by food shopping online.
Research suggests around six in 10 Australians are looking to save time by food shopping online.

COVID-19 has accelerated the preference for online convenience among grocery shoppers, with almost eight in 10 who've switched over during the pandemic saying they wanted to avoid traditional supermarket isles.

Research commissioned by ING bank also reveals pay-offs can be had by doing the weekly food shop online, with consumers saving nearly $1370 a year and getting the equivalent of an extra-long weekend in time back.

The national survey of more than a thousand adults reveals about six in 10 are out to save time and dodge crowds by ditching in-person trips to the shops.

Some 33 per cent also believe going online is generally thriftier while 31 per cent say it's a good way to limit impulse purchases.

ING head of digital Amy Cunningham says the research suggests buying groceries remotely could be one of the easiest ways to save money.

"The $1369 saved by the average shopper may cover two months' of utility bills or the costs for a year's worth of swimming lessons for one child," she said.

"Plus, getting ... time back to spend doing the things that matter most is a real added benefit."

The survey also found more than one in five respondents are signed up to a meal kit subscription and that their stated motivation is, again, mainly to save cash (76 per cent).

Despite this, Choice Magazine says food boxes containing kits can be a little costlier than shopping in-person although the two are similar if delivery costs are factored in for the latter.

Even so, Ms Cunningham argues "Australians are not always paying for convenience and they could actually be saving as a result of using it".

Almost eight in 10 (78 per cent) respondents to the ING survey said avoiding busy shops was why they now order groceries online more than they did before the pandemic.

The same proportion indicated they wanted to save money on food this year, whether on dining out (41 per cent) or groceries (38 per cent).

And almost three quarters (71 per cent) of parents and carers who took part said they were looking to save by searching for the best deals online.

Australian Associated Press