A GfK study for Visa has revealed that 44% of Portuguese shoppers have started shopping online or increased their online purchases, as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The director-general of Centromarca, Pedro Pimentel, told Dinheiro Vivo that the growth of the online channel during the first three months of the pandemic was equal to that of five years, adding that 2020 would close with a two-and-a-half to three-fold increase.
The biggest growth was in food retail, where retailers were forced to boost logistics, link up with home delivery platforms or launch their own online shops.
Among the grocery players already investing in online, DIA Portugal’s e-commerce service already covers the Greater Lisbon and Greater Porto areas and offers delivery from 78 outlets thanks to strategic alliances in different regions.
Pingo Doce opted to expand its partnership with online marketplace Mercadão, selling a wider range of categories online and launching services such as in-store collection, already available in 307 stores.
Elsewhere, Coviran is already providing home deliveries and plans to offer online sales in some shops.
Others such as Mercadona and Lidl are waiting on the sidelines, focusing on physical expansion and eyeing the online segment.
Despite the growth trends, online sales of supermarket products in Portugal currently account for less than €5 out of every €100 spent in the grocery channel.
However, the trend is positive, thanks to more frequent purchases, extension of the shopping basket to new categories, the emergence of new digital operators, and expansion to online sales by conventional retailers.
Prior to COVID-19, more than 90% of online shopping was at conventional retailers (Sonae, Auchan, El Corte Inglés), but now the percentage has fallen to just over 80%, with Portuguese households increasingly buying from 100% digital operators such as Mercadão, Mercachef or 360Hyper.
© 2021 European Supermarket Magazine – your source for the latest retail news. Article by Branislav Pekic. Click subscribe to sign up to ESM: The European Supermarket Magazine