Another study shows that while online shopping remains a small percentage of overall grocery shopping in the U.S., it is growing. According to analysis released yesterday by Brick Meets Clicks, in 2019 online grocery sales have grown 15 percent year-over-year and now represent 6.3 percent of total grocery-related spending by US households (h/t Food Dive).

In the press release announcing its findings, Brick Meets Click attributed the growth to the following factors:

  • Household penetration, based on past-month shopping activity, has risen more than five percentage points over the last year to nearly 25% of all US households. This gain is largely the result of aggressive expansion of home delivery and pickup services available at brick-and-mortar stores, which collectively are now accessible to 90% of all the households in the US — up from 81% in 2018.
  • Average order values, encompassing ship-to-home, home delivery, and pickup orders, have climbed over 6% to $70 in 2019. When only analyzing home delivery and pickup orders across various retail trade channels, the average order value grew 13% to just over $100.
  • Online purchase frequency for groceries remains relatively unchanged versus last year, averaging two orders during the past month for active online grocery customers. Ship-to-home orders account for 50% of all online grocery orders while pickup captures 28% and home delivery 22%, respectively.

 

One study doesn’t make a trend, but the results are in line with other recent market research. A Gallup survey released in August showed that 81 percent of Americans never buy groceries online. But the number of “nevers” was less than the 84 percent Gallup found in 2018. And in May, Coresight Research found that 35 million more people shopped for groceries online between 2018 and 2019.

While not exactly swift, online grocery shopping is a movement that will accelerate over the next couple of years as retailers build out the infrastructure to facilitate it.

Just yesterday, Walmart announced that it was expanding its $98/year Delivery Unlimited service to more than 50 percent of the U.S. by the end of this year. Also yesterday, Kroger officially announced that Dallas would be the location for its fifth robot-powered smart warehouse for faster grocery fulfillment. The company has plans to build out 20 such facilities across the country over the next two years. And just a couple of weeks ago, Target announced its curbside pickup service is now available in all 50 states.

As these services and facilities continue to expand, online shopping will become more economical and convenient. Expect to see continued adoption and those online shopping percentages grow by bigger leaps and bounds.

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