Consumers upbeat for 2018

Press enter to search
Close search
Open Menu

Consumers upbeat for 2018

By Michael Johnsen - 01/17/2018
More than half of all consumers are feeling good about 2018, according to the latest IRI consumer confidence survey released Tuesday. Despite this stable outlook, consumers are still mindful about their spending and are turning to the Internet for money-saving opportunities.

“While consumer confidence has improved during the last few years, consumers can still be a bit shaky about their job and financial prospects, so we’re seeing some mixed signals in our survey results,” Susan Viamari, vice president of Thought Leadership for IRI, said. “Many, especially younger consumers, say they think the Internet provides money-saving opportunities, so we wanted to dig further and find out what role online shopping is playing in consumers’ CPG spending. Consumers are certainly not going to do all of their CPG shopping online, but marketers must keep in mind that 76% of all shopping trips begin online and 50% of CPG category growth is predicted to be online in 2018.”

As many as 28% of consumers say they buy grocery items online compared with 23% in Q1 2016. While it is no surprise that consumers look for the best possible deals online, how does this stack up by CPG category? Almost one-third of consumers (32%) are shopping online first for beauty and personal care options, 30% are shopping online for home care options, 21% are looking for OTC options online and only 20% are seeking food and beverage products online.
"While consumer confidence has improved during the last few years, consumers can still be a bit shaky about their job and financial prospects, so we’re seeing some mixed signals in our survey results."

The IRI survey also revealed that consumers think shopping online provides the added benefit of reducing their impulse purchases. Overall, 51% of total shoppers say they make fewer unplanned purchases online.

Of course, convenience plays a big role in online shopping, with 20% of consumers saying it is easier to find needed grocery items online. By age, 32% of millennials, 28% of Generation X, 16% of baby boomers and 12% of seniors say they find items more easily.

Ordering online with in-store pickup (click-and-collect) provides convenience without the added shipping fee. While 40% of total shoppers like this convenience, 55% of millennials, 52% of Generation X, 36% of baby boomers and 25% of seniors specifically like click-and-collect options.

In the upcoming year, the Internet will play an integral and growing role in the CPG purchase process:

  • 55% of consumers will download coupons from retailer/manufacturer websites;

  • 51% of consumers will compare prices on retailer websites to find the lowest prices on needed items;

  • 24% of consumers will order online for home delivery;

  • 22% will order online and pick up in store;

  • 12% will use online subscription services for some grocery purchases; and

  • 6% will use online meal kit delivery services.


As e-commerce gains steam, consumers are looking for a variety of offerings that will enhance and/or simplify their shopping experience. Delivery — free and/or fast — is quite popular, but desires go beyond that, particularly among younger consumers.

“When consumers think about online CPG shopping, they have specific ideas about what is helpful in their lives,” Viamari said. “There really is no one-size-fits-all answer, so it’s critical to understand what it is that makes your key shoppers tick.”