Digital Marketing News


Groceries Online – Supermarkets – NZ Reach

Jan 23, 2014

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Which New Zealand Supermarkets are maximising their market share online?

Find out which online grocery stores are taking the lead in organic search and how they’re doing it.

FIRST has investigated the organic search engine rankings for NZ consumer searches focused on buying groceries online, utilising FIRST’s Ranking Based Reach (RBR) analysis framework. In addition, a consumer survey was carried out to discover which supermarkets are popular with Kiwis wishing to buy groceries online.

In this report we discovered:

  • Rankings for grocery-related searches in New Zealand are dominated by Countdown, New World and Pak’nSave. And all three of these have also invested in paid search for incremental clicks.
  • Most grocery and supermarket websites have a very low organic RBR score, under 1% (!). This represents a big opportunity for natural search optimisation.
  • A study involving 56 countries (including New Zealand) showed that consumer intention to buy food and beverages online increased by 44 percent in two years (2010 to 2012) and 6 from 10 global respondents used the Internet for grocery shopping research.
  • Buying groceries online in NZ is a new, upcoming industry. Countdown is the market leader, but New World is making attempts to compete in this market. Although Mighty Mart is the least known supermarket, it seems to be generating more purchases than its closest competitors (excluding Countdown and New World).
  • A considered search strategy that integrates both organic and paid search should be a key customer acquisition channel for supermarkets, driving revenue and growing the supermarket’s share of digital spend.

Popular search phrases are missing from most sites and very little is being done with organic search.

FIRST uses its bespoke metric called RBR (Ranking Based Reach) to estimate how well each company is ranking in search engines. RBR provides a simple way to compare a website’s search engine rankings with its competitors. RBR is an estimate of the percentage of available search traffic a website will receive for a set of phrases – this gives the sites share of search or reach. It is weighted based on the popularity of each search phrase and the relative click through rate (CTR) of each ranking position.