Younger shoppers could hold the key to whether Amazon makes a success of its grocery retail business after new research revealed that 78% of the 18-34 age group say they will probably or definitely try doing their grocery shopping with the online retailer.

That’s one of the findings from the latest Bridgethorne Shopper Index from category and shopper management specialist Bridgethorne, which gauges shopper opinions for satisfaction, loyalty and future propensity to purchase. The inclination of the 18-34s to try Amazon, though, isn’t replicated in other age groups with only 26% of the over 55s saying they will probably or definitely give Amazon a go. 22% of all shoppers, though, said that, if Amazon met their expectation, they would do all or most of their shopping on Amazon, showing a level of commitment similar to a strong affiliation to a mainstream supermarket.

“We know from other findings from the Bridgethorne Shopper Index that younger shoppers are generally more promiscuous with the type of shopping they do and where they shop,” explains John Nevens, Joint Managing Director, Bridgethorne. “So whilst Amazon has an opportunity to settle them down with new habits and achieve loyalty, they also potentially have a more difficult task in finding what it takes to make this happen.”

In terms of factors that are mostly likely to influence a shopper’s decision to shop for groceries with Amazon, price, quality, speed of delivery, range and availability of delivery slots ranked most highly. Barriers to shopping for groceries with Amazon seem to be similar to general barriers to shopping online, including a preference for seeing products first hand, cost of delivery and a general dislike of shopping online.

When asked how Amazon might compare with their usual supermarket, most respondents expect Amazon to be on a par with supermarkets. However across a range of measures, from shelf-life, quality, availability, range and speed of delivery, more than a third of respondents expected supermarkets to be better. Only on price was the response even closer, where 32% felt supermarkets would be better, 23% felt Amazon would be better and 45% felt they would be about the same.

“The research doesn’t suggest any expectation among shoppers that they will receive a superior of distinctive offer from Amazon,” adds Nevens. “Those less inclined to consider shopping with Amazon tend to be older, which may be a symptom of their reluctance to change long held shopping habits. Appealing to both younger and older age groups, though, may be critical for long term success and this may only come from understanding the perceived barriers and addressing them.”