Consumers opting for price over high-speed convenience prompts downturn in demand for q-commerce formats, Pricer research reveals

Cost-of-living pressures are prompting consumers to move away from q-commerce, as shoppers swap the higher basket prices of rapid deliveries for in-store deals and discount grocery retail formats, the latest research from Pricer, the world’s most trusted supplier of shelf-edge automation solutions, reveals.

Original research of 1,000 UK shoppers by Pricer showed just 7% of shoppers now use q-commerce grocery deliveries, where online orders are delivered by courier drivers like Getir, JustEat or UberEats in under an hour, once a month, as price trumps speed and convenience in cost-of-living consumers’ buying consideration priorities.

While a further 7% opt for fast-format grocery ecommerce deliveries once a week, a fifth (19%) of shoppers now use q-commerce less than once a month for food purchases, and over half (54%) of consumers say they have never used high-speed convenience deliveries.  Meanwhile, according to a separate poll by NTT Data, 59% of those shoppers who do use q-commerce apps are doing so less frequently.

Peter Ward, Country Manager for UK & Ireland at Pricer, commented: “Q-commerce, previously the posterchild for pandemic ecommerce, quickly rose in both popularity and consumer adoption during covid-19.  However, its trajectory has cooled somewhat as consumers, hit with cost-of-living pressures, and facing stubbornly high grocery price inflation, have reassessed how and where they shop in order to make their food spend go further.”

With IGD estimating an average q-commerce basket is 18% more expensive than a convenience store, many consumers are opting to switch their spend back to in-store shopping where they have more choice, and can compare the price of more goods at the shelf edge.  Pricer’s research showed that 40% say they are shopping more in supermarkets now compared to a year ago, while 83% say they are much more likely to compare prices at the shelf-edge in a bid to keep the cost of food bills down, up +21 percentage points year-on-year.

At the same time, 61% of price-conscious shoppers have switched some of their grocery shop from their usual supermarket brands to discounters, such as Aldi or Lidl.  However, while cheaper prices were behind 90% of switchers, 19% cited more choice of own-brand and value ranges as their motivation for switching to discount grocers.  A further 17% said discounters offered better quality products compared with the Big Four, and 14% said discounters offered more choice of products in general.

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