The Future of Retailing – Flexible Formats

The Future of Retailing – Flexible Formats

Consumers today are increasingly mobile and as technology advancements continue around the world, retailing will evolve to keep pace. And while online shopping has shown impressive growth momentum over the past few years in industries such as travel, publishing, electronics and even clothing, the pace of change has been much slower for consumer-packaged goods.

When considering new and flexible retail formats for grocery shopping, specific preferences emerge when it comes to particular online delivery options, according to Nielsen’s 2011 Global Online Survey of more than 25,000 Internet respondents across 51 countries. While more than half (52%) of global online consumers say they are likely to place a grocery order online if it is delivered to their homes, less than one-third feel the same if they are required to pick up the online order curbside (27%) or via a drive-thru window (30%). Interestingly, more consumers—just over one-third (36%)—say they are willing to pick up an online order inside the store.

The online shopping/home delivery option is most embraced by consumers in Asia Pacific, where more than three-quarters (77%) say they are likely to take advantage of this option, which contrasts sharply with one-fifth of North Americans (20%) and one-third (35%) of Europeans. “The main resistance in developed countries in Europe and North America is primarily due to the high volume of grocery stores that are available,” said Jean-Jacques Vandenheede, Director Retailer Industry Insights, Nielsen. “In Asia Pacific, fewer physical stores and a very digital consumer base equal a fertile distribution channel for online.”  About half of respondents in Middle East/Africa (48%) and Latin America (51%) indicated they are likely to shop for groceries online for home delivery.


Using hand-held scanners to record purchases while shopping to avoid waiting on checkout lines was welcomed by half of global online consumers. While interest is again highest among Asia Pacific consumers (60% interested and only 14% unlikely to try it), in each region, more consumers indicated they are likely to try it than not.


For more detail and regional insights, download: Shopping & Saving Strategies Around the World.