NielsenIQ data: Identifying barriers to buying online

The analysts surveyed shoppers and asked what keeps them from buying certain health and beauty, and frozen foods items online?
Dan Ochwat
Executive Editor
Dan Ochwat profile picture

It’s no secret that e-commerce has been booming over the last year, but some categories have been falling behind others, according to new data from NielsenIQ.

While health and beauty products dominate most of online buying, according to the Chicago-based analysts, products such as deodorant, feminine care, oral hygiene and respiratory care have made little inroads to sales online.

Also, while digital grocery sales have grown by 125% over the last 52 weeks, NielsenIQ said fresh, frozen and refrigerated foods are falling behind.

To support its numbers, NeislenIQ conducted its Omnichannel Shopping Fundamentals Survey and asked shoppers to identify the barriers to buying certain items online.

When it comes to health and beauty items like deodorant, the survey found that nearly 40% of respondents said they prefer to buy it in person, 33% said they need it immediately, and 14% said it takes too long to deliver.

Looking at fresh, frozen and refrigerated items, the top three barriers to online were that 46% prefer to buy those items in person, 37% of respondents said they had skepticism around product quality, and 28% said they needed the items immediately.

NielsenIQ said over the last 52 weeks, 21 of the top 30 categories with the largest dollar share of online sales have gone to health and beauty products. By comparison, 25 of the top 30 categories with the highest dollar share of in-store sales have been food items.

The food and beverage categories with the highest share of in-store dollar sales, according to NielsenIQ shakes out as beer, ice cream, rolls and buns, bottled cocktails/hard ciders, soft drinks, bread and more. The health and beauty categories with the highest dollar share in-store include cough, cold and flu medication, sanitary pads, allergy and sinus medication, gastrointestinal care, itch/rash treatment, tampons, mouthwash and more. For more on NielsenIQ’s analysis, visit this blog here.