The Great British Supermarket Switch


June 21, 2022 at 12:00 AM Coordinated Universal Time
  • 19 million (1) British shoppers say they’ve ditched their usual online grocer for a competitor with better on-site search 
  • Equivalent of £1.2billion (2) of weekly shopper spend at risk as a result
  • Importance of on-site search surges for supermarkets as shoppers demand speed and convenience and adopt hybrid shopping habits

June 21, 2022 – London – The ease with which shoppers can find products on a supermarket’s website is now a top five factor influencing the behavior and loyalty of almost a quarter (24%)(3) of Brits, according to new data released today by Algolia.

And one in three (34%) say they’ve actually ditched their primary online supermarket for a competitor which allows them to search and find items more easily, equating to 19 million people. This is more prevalent amongst 16-24 year olds, 50% of whom have switched.

It also appears supermarkets failing to offer an intuitive, fast and effective on-site search and click-and-collect option on their website may be losing in-store customers too as people adopt ‘hybrid shopping’ habits.

39% of shoppers say they would consider switching the supermarket they usually visit in person to another if it offered better online search, allowing them to check the availability of products in advance before visiting and/or make use of a click-and-collect service.

John Stewart, Vice President, Corporate Communications and Brand at Algolia noted: “It’s shocking that British supermarkets could be churning the equivalent of £1.2billion of annualized spend by not helping customers find what they need quickly through effective site search and personalization.  The boom in online grocery shopping shows no sign of slowing post-pandemic and we’re also seeing the rapid growth of instant delivery apps across the UK, meaning people are more demanding of speed and convenience than ever before.

Every year, retail brands spend tens of millions on advertising to get people to their websites, so why wouldn’t you give them the best possible tools to quickly find exactly what they want once they’ve arrived? If supermarkets want to retain and attract customers - both online and in-store - taking site search seriously is a must.”

Notes to editors:
Algolia commissioned independent market research company, Censuswide, to survey a nationally representative sample of 2,000 UK shoppers aged 16 and over, between 25 and 27 May. Unless stated otherwise, all figures were drawn from this poll.

(1) Data from Censuswide shows that 34% of respondents say they have switched supermarkets due to difficulties finding products online. 34% of the UK’s 56 million adult population (ONS) amounts to 19 million

(2) Using the average UK online shopping basket size (£64 per shop according to Kantar)multiplied by the 19 million Brits who say they have changed supermarkets due to poor online search, gives you the financial equivalent for ‘churned customers’ - £1.2 billion per week

(3) Respondents were asked to rank the top five factors influencing their choice of supermarket from a list of 11 options. The top five factors were:

  1. Price (52%)
  2. Offers and discounts (34%)
  3. Delivery times (29%)
  4. Speed of delivery (24%)
  5. Easy to search and find the things I need (24%)

About Algolia

Algolia is an API-First Search and Discovery platform that empowers builders to compose experiences at Internet scale to predict what customers want with blazing fast search and the best application browse experience leading to more remarkable Discovery. More than 11,000 companies including Under Armour, Lacoste, Birchbox, Stripe, Slack, Medium, and Zendesk rely on Algolia to manage over 1.5 trillion search queries a year. Algolia is headquartered in San Francisco with offices in New York, Atlanta, Austin, Paris, London, and Bucharest. To learn more, visit