Global online grocery purchasing up 15% in last two years leading to an estimated us$70b additional sales in online

Stockholm, November 21, 2018 – Online purchasing of packaged grocery food has surged by 6% points in the past year, with an increase in consumers’ confidence within the online buying ecosystem leading to purchasing in a broader range of categories, according to a new report by global measurement company, Nielsen.

The 2018 Nielsen Connected Commerce Report, which looks at consumers’ online purchasing habits, reported that 94% of Swedish consumers who have access to the internet have made a purchase online. The report also revealed 13% of digital consumers purchased fresh groceries online, an increase of 3% points between 2017 and 2018.

Travel e.g., hotels, flights, car rental, travel deals, cruise, travel package account for the largest proportion of online transactions 72% of consumers purchased within the category. Meanwhile, the categories posting the most significant growth in e-commerce activity include packaged food where 22% of online consumers said they made a purchase (up with 6% points vs 2017), medicine and health care products (up with 5% points to 43%) and house hold and cleaning products (up with 4% points to 16%) and beauty and personal care products (up with 4% points to 44%).

“From tracking the e-commerce evolution in pioneering countries like South Korea where online sales now account for a staggering 20% of the total FMCG sector, we know that consumers follow a certain pattern of online shopping behaviour,” observes Pete Gale, Retailer Services, Nielsen. “Travel, fashion and books are typical categories for first-time online shoppers, but as their familiarisation, comfort and trust levels increase, their category repertoire expands into areas like beauty, personal care and baby products, and then moves even wider afield to packaged and fresh grocery categories, and this is evidenced in the significant jump we’ve seen in online purchasing within grocery and food delivery in recent years.”

This Nielsen report reveals that consumers are more open to purchase packaged and fresh groceries online when they are offered certain purchasing options and quality assurances. 41% of all Swedish consumers said that a money back guarantee for products not matching what was ordered would encourage them to buy online. A further 35% of consumers are enticed by same day product replacement service for products not available, while 33% are looking for free delivery services for purchases above a minimum spend. 20% said that they were willing to pick up goods outside the store.

“With the rise of consumer adoption in online purchasing, the continuously evolving e-commerce space has blurred the lines between online and offline,” notes Gale. “A few years ago e-commerce purchase was focused on non-perishable goods such as travel, fashion and books but over time we are seeing a rise in purchases across new categories. Looking ahead, the next wave of evolution in online purchasing behavior will likely be driven by innovations in digital capabilities like personalised recommendations based on programmatic consumption and online behavior.”


The Nielsen Connected Commerce report provides an understanding of the global connected consumer, shopping traits, category evolution and barriers to identify future growth prospects. It identifies the top online categories and changes in category penetration, along with online purchasing behavior and consumers’ expectations from an online shopping experience. The insights will assist FMCG companies in formulating strategies to enhance consumers shopping experiences in the digital world.


Nielsen Holdings plc (NYSE: NLSN) is a global measurement and data analytics company that provides the most complete and trusted view available of consumers and markets worldwide. Our approach marries proprietary Nielsen data with other data sources to help clients around the world understand what’s happening now, what’s happening next, and how to best act on this knowledge. For more than 90 years Nielsen has provided data and analytics based on scientific rigor and innovation, continually developing new ways to answer the most important questions facing the media, advertising, retail and fast-moving consumer goods industries. An S&P 500 company, Nielsen has operations in over 100 countries, covering more than 90% of the world’s population. For more information, visit

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