New research from TWC shows that there is a high awareness of the Amazon Fresh concept, at 55% nationally, rising to 68% in London. Just over 1 in 10 shoppers surveyed said they have shopped at an Amazon Fresh store, renowned for its lack of checkouts and automated payment process.

Amazon now operates 19 of the ‘just walk out’ grocery stores in the UK, all in London, except its latest opening in Sevenoaks, Kent. Reports last year said the online giant wants to have over 260 of the hi-tech sites operating in the UK before the end of 2024 to challenge the established players in the sector.

Meanwhile, the latest TWC Trends figures suggest that total online grocery penetration is plateauing following rapid growth through the pandemic and subsequent lockdowns. The research was conducted in June and showed that whilst 14% of shoppers claim to have used the online channel more in the last six months, a higher proportion (16%) have used it less – and the majority are using it the same amount.

The research also suggests there is little loyalty in online grocery, with only 18% of consumers saying they always use the same retailer and just 13% saying they use an online delivery subscription such as Tesco Delivery Saver or Ocado Smart Pass.

Sarah Coleman, Communications Director at TWC commented: “Amazon appears to be powering ahead with its bold ambitions for the UK grocery sector. Two recent initiatives come to mind – offering 25% discount to Prime members shopping in its Fresh stores on the run-up to Prime Day and price matching Tesco (including Clubcard deals) on online grocery orders, presumably both with the intention of driving trial of its services.

“The low level of loyalty in the online grocery channel means it’s all to play for, and given the current cost-of-living crisis, any play on price is likely to be well received by consumers and may just encourage them to switch their shopping habits.”

However, the research did also highlight a not insignificant group of Amazon ‘rejectors’, who actively avoid the retailer. Accounting for 1 in 5 consumers nationally, these ‘rejectors’ are similar in demographic profile to Amazon’s core shoppers – they are younger, more likely to have children in the household and over-index in London. This suggests Amazon has something of ‘marmite’ appeal amongst this core group.

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