Amazon Buys Whole Foods: Half of Consumers Open to Online Shopping

Amazon made waves late last week when the ecommerce giant announced plans to purchase organic grocery chain Whole Foods. There are many different reasons why Amazon might want to purchase Whole Foods. And it’s safe to say that this acquisition could lead to some changes for the grocery industry as a whole. So what do consumers think about Amazon buying Whole Foods and about online grocery shopping and other alternative options? We asked 1,000 respondents about their thoughts on Amazon and Whole Foods and how the purchase might impact their grocery shopping habits.

whole foods

Grocery Shoppers

In Ask Your Target Market’s latest online survey, 5% said they purchase groceries every day. 52% go grocery shopping a few times per week. 40% do so a few times per month. 2% go grocery shopping less frequently than once a month. And 1% said they aren’t grocery consumers at all.

Of those grocery consumers, 97% said they normally purchase groceries in stores. 18% said they regularly shop for groceries online. 8% use store pickup services. 6% use grocery delivery services. 5% shop for groceries using mobile apps. And 3% use grocery subscription services. But some more consumers have tried some of those alternative shopping methods. 30% of respondents said they’ve shopped for groceries online at some point. 20% have used store pickup services. 16% have used delivery services. 11% have used mobile grocery apps. 10% have used grocery subscription services. And 56% said they haven’t used any alternative grocery shopping methods.

Online Grocery Shopping

Looking forward, 50% of grocery consumers said they’re at least somewhat likely to buy groceries online within the next two years. According to Personality Radar, those who are likely to shop online for groceries are fairly trendy, creative and concerned about issues like health and the environment. Specifically, they seem to be interested in organic food items, which could make an impact on their online grocery shopping habits.

Of those who said they would be at least somewhat likely to shop for groceries online, 85% said they would choose to shop online due to convenience. 80% said they could be convinced to buy groceries online because of price. 49% look for the ability to customize orders when shopping online. And 46% like that they can find unique products online.

However, of those who do not plan to shop online for groceries in the next year, 69% said they are hesitant because of the inability to see items before they buy. 50% said they have concerns about the freshness of items bought online. 33% are concerned about price when shopping online. And 22% are concerned about general quality.

Amazon Buys Whole Foods

Overall, just 11% of respondents said that they regularly shop at Whole Foods. 20% have shopped there many times in the past. 28% have done so at least once. And 41% said they’ve never shopped at Whole Foods. Of those who have shopped at Whole Foods multiple times, 64% said they would be likely to shop online for groceries in the next two years.

On the other hand, 51% of respondents said they regularly shop on Amazon.com. 31% have shopped on Amazon many times. 11% have done so at least once. And just 7% said they’ve never bought items on Amazon. Of those who regularly shop with Amazon, 61% said they are likely to buy groceries online in the next two years.

Key Takeaways

If Amazon is looking to change the way consumers purchase groceries, the acquisition of Whole Foods could be a good move. Those who are interested in shopping online for grocery items are also interested in healthy and organic products. And many of them have already shopped with Whole Foods. Currently, it seems that most of the people who have shopped online for groceries or used other alternative grocery shopping methods have done so just to supplement their regular trips to the grocery store. It may be a good strategy for Amazon and other grocery companies to continue to use that mindset, since there are still some concerns with things like freshness and products that might vary in appearance. But if companies like Amazon can make small steps over time, it seems like a concept that at least some consumers are open to exploring.

You can view the complete survey results in the widget below and be sure to click “Open Full Report” to take advantage of all the chart and filter options.

Photo Credit: Tulsa Whole Foods by Kari Sullivan under CC BY 2.0

What do you want to know? If you need some consumer insights on a particular topic, let us know in the comments below and we’ll consider it for an upcoming survey post.

Results were collected on June 19 via AYTM’s online survey panel.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Anne Pilon
Anne Pilon brings 3 years experience to AYTM as a blogger and journalist. She has a degree in journalism and marketing communications from Columbia College in Chicago and enjoys writing about business, marketing, social media, and art.