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Grocery shopping remains mostly an in-store activity. This holds true throughout the path to purchase, based on PricewaterhouseCoopers polling conducted in September 2014. More than seven in 10 US internet users said they preferred to research groceries in-store, vs. 24% who liked to go online for this. When it came time to buy, the brick-and-mortar preference was even heavier, at 87% of respondents, compared with just 9% who favored online grocery buying.
However, there’s one demographic where demand for digital grocery shopping is high: Hispanics. According to December 2014 research by Acosta Sales & Marketing and Univision, US Hispanic shoppers overindexed for online grocery shopping, at 73%, vs. 60% of total shoppers.
Hispanics topped shoppers as a whole for usage of each digital grocery shopping tool studied, with the exception of product, store, or recipe and meal planning websites. Differences in mobile usage stood out in particular. Mobile apps and sites were far more popular among Hispanics, with respective usage rates 60.0% and 55.6% higher than those for all shoppers. Even more, over one-quarter of Hispanic respondents used text messaging for grocery shopping, compared with 16% of all shoppers.
eMarketer estimates that this year, 73.7% of US Hispanics will use the internet from any location via any device at least monthly. Mobile phone penetration among Hispanics will reach 79.4% in 2015, and we expect 74.8% of these users to access the internet via such devices.
At purchase time, Hispanics were once again more likely than total US shoppers to click the “buy” button online, according to Acosta and Univision. Half of Hispanics said they purchased grocery items online at least once a year, while 40% of all shoppers said the same. Millennial Hispanics were even more likely to buy groceries online, with 60% of 18-to-24-year-old and 65% of 25-to-34-year-old Hispanics saying they had done so.
Hispanics purchased groceries online for the same reasons all shoppers did. However, most reasons had more sway over Hispanic shoppers. Half of Hispanic respondents bought groceries digitally to skip the line, and the same percentage liked being able to order on their own schedule. Other reasons for digital grocery buying included avoiding bad weather, the ease of ordering digitally and the option to shop online when busy.
Hispanics represent a desirable group for the grocery industry, as they overindex for spending. Acosta and Univision found that Hispanic grocery shoppers spent an average of $360.90 on groceries each month, vs. $331.00 for all shoppers. If digital grocery retailers can connect with the demographic and provide the shopping experience Hispanics desire, they stand to reap the benefits of that higher spending.
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