The coronavirus epidemic changed the way customers use K Group’s online grocery services

At their highest, monthly visits to K Group’s online grocery stores increased by over 800%* during the coronavirus epidemic restrictions this spring. In addition to an increase in user numbers, changes could also be seen in ways people use online grocery services. While home deliveries per month grew at their highest by some 500%, the growth in pick & collect services exceeded 2,000% at one point. Of the customer segments, online grocery shopping increased the most among seniors and adult households.

After the busiest weeks this spring, K Group’s online grocery growth numbers have come down to a more moderate level, but the number of online transactions is still almost six times that of June 2019. This means that customers who began ordering their groceries online in the spring have kept it up.

“People who first tried out online grocery services this spring have been twice as likely to order online again as those who tried it before. Many people now see how online shopping can make everyday life easier, with someone else putting together and packing your groceries, even delivering them to your door,” says K Group’s Chief Digital Officer Anni Ronkainen.

170 new K Group stores began offering online grocery services during the first months of the epidemic. In total, there are now 450 K-food stores that offer online grocery services.
Major increase in the popularity of pick & collect services

During the spring, a big surge could be seen in the popularity of pick & collect services, where store staff gathers the items and customers pick up their order from the store. While the highest monthly increase in K Group’s online grocery shopping was 800% year-on-year, growth in pick & collect services was 2,000% at its highest.

“Before the epidemic, 80% of our online customers chose home delivery. During the spring, interest grew towards the pick & collect service, which costs slightly less. There were also more pick & collect slots and stores available, which is likely to have had an effect. Nearly half of all online customers chose pick & collect this spring, especially families with children,” says Ronkainen.

Seniors began ordering groceries online – and have not stopped

Before the epidemic, seniors accounted for some 10% of all online grocery customers. During the strictest restrictions, the figure rose to some 25% - and has stayed there in June.
“It will be interesting to see if this is a lasting change. It’s possible that many seniors who first tried out online grocery shopping during the epidemic will consider it a good way to do their shopping also going forward,” says Ronkainen.

K Group’s data shows that seniors really did comply with the restrictions imposed in the spring, as visits by seniors with a K-Plussa card to K-food stores decreased by 5 million. People visited the stores less frequently and many began shopping online – buying more in one go.

Families with children continue to be the biggest customer group online, as they account for 40% of all online grocery orders. Before the epidemic, the figure was closer to 60%.

*Highest number of visits / month during the restrictions compared with the year before.

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