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Survey: More consumers buying CPG products direct online

BY Marianne Wilson

Consumer packaged goods (CPG), once purchased almost exclusively in stores, are quickly moving into the digital realm as more and more consumers are researching and purchasing CPG products online.

That’s according to a Periscope By McKinsey survey, in which at least 70% of the respondents were found to doing undertaking some form of online CPG shopping activity, with French (40%) and U.K. (39%) consumers exhibiting the greatest balance of multichannel shopping preferences followed by German (33%) and U.S. (32%) shoppers.

The top two factors influencing online CPG purchasing decisions by U.S. shoppers were price and free delivery (57%). Promotions and discounts were a close third for consumers in every country except Germany, where 30% of respondents said product descriptions were the next most important factor.

Highlights from the survey include:

• Online shoppers prefer non-perishable categories in CPG. Non-edible and durable food items are performing considerably better than perishable products like dairy and bread, revealing shopper hesitation about purchasing these types of products online.

Also, beauty and personal care products topped the shopping list for consumers in the U.S. (38%), and also in France (47%), the U.K. and Germany (46%). cleaning supplies were included in the “Top 4” product categories consumers had shopped online within the past two months.

• Discounts and bulk purchasing options drive online purchasing. When asked to evaluate how their online shopping habits differ from shopping in-store, consumers in all markets said they are more likely to buy more in bulk online and are willing to spend more if they can identify discounts and offers.

• Age plays a role in CPG shopping channel preferences. Millennial shoppers (aged 18-29) were the largest group in each country surveyed, except the U.K., to only or mostly undertake their shopping for CPG products online. Interestingly, in the U.S., 22% of respondents who shop for CPG items only online were aged 50-59.

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