Study: Online Consumers Willing to Pay More for Food

Convenience and quality, not price, are the major motivators for online
grocery buyers, says a new study.

When it comes to shopping on the Web for groceries and gourmet items, grocery
shoppers tend to buy online for convenience, while gourmet food buyers shop
for perceived quality and variety, says a new study from ActivMedia Research entitled
“Consumable Products: Building Online Loyalty.”

The research report covers online consumer purchasing patterns in five
consumable product categories: Health & Beauty, Healthcare & Pharmaceutical,
Groceries & Household Supplies, Gourmet Foods & Beverages, and Pet Supplies.

Interestingly, buyers of groceries are already brand-loyal and less likely to
be bargain-hunters than buyers in other well-known categories of online
merchandise such as computers and software, the study found.

Grocery buyers online seek the convenience of Web site support for repeat
ordering and no-hassle at-home delivery. However, gourmet foods buyers are
less motivated by repetitive convenience — instead they seek quality (93
percent) and will pay premium prices for premium products, the report says.

Gourmet buyers are nearly 20 percent more concerned with knowing that they
are buying a premium product than the general online buying public.

Price sensitivity shows up as the other side of brand loyalty, and the
products in the Consumables group demonstrate this clearly, the report says.

Product and vendor loyalty runs high throughout the categories, but items
where online
consumable shoppers in this study showed the highest levels of product
loyalty were in categories such as pet supplies, in which consumers were
least likely to switch
to another product or brand to save money.

Buyers of groceries are the next most adamant in sticking with their known
brand. When you want Campbell’s chicken noodle, you want Campbell’s chicken
noodle, it would seem. Online grocery buyers purchase based upon need, and
are little influenced by sales or price, the study found.

Buyers of gourmet foods are as likely as anyone else to switch to save a buck
or two, whereas the Health & Beauty and Healthcare buyers are clearly online
to save — with half or more threatening to switch to another product or
brand to save some cash.

Consumable buyers for the most part are deliberate shoppers, and not highly
influenced by online product recommendations, highlights, or promotions,
according to the report.

In fact, fewer than one in four indicate that their
most recent consumable purchase was stimulated by online promotion. (Pet
supply buyers rated online promotion a bit higher.)

Buyers of Healthcare & Pharmaceuticals are familiar with the products they
are considering, have specific products in mind and go online to make a
purchase. On the other hand, more than half of gourmet buyers were stimulated
to make their most recent purchase by on-screen appearance and presentation.

The full study is being marketed $1,695. ActivMedia Research conducts custom
and syndicated research aimed at guiding businesses to profitable online

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