Nothing like a catastrophic global pandemic to force people into new behaviors. According to a survey released yesterday by Brick Meets Click and ShopperKit, online grocery shopping is booming, with 31 percent of U.S. households (~39.5 million households) saying they have used either an online grocery delivery or pickup service in the past month. (h/t Grocery Dive).
The results of this survey, which was conducted from March 23 – 25 with 1,601 U.S. adults, is more than double the number Brick Meets Clicks found in its August survey that found 13 percent of U.S. households grocery shopping online.
Interestingly, 26 percent of those surveyed are doing online grocery shopping for the first time. For shoppers 60 years and older, that number of first time users jumps to 39 percent.
The COVID-19 pandemic, coupled with shelter in place orders and social distancing, is driving a lot of this sudden spike online grocery usage. The question is whether these e-commerce newbies will stick around once the outbreak recedes. Brick Meets Clicks actually dug into this and found:
When asked how likely they were to continue using a specific online grocery service after the COVID-19 crisis subsides or ends, 43% of the survey respondents indicated that they are either extremely or very likely to do so.
That many people saying they will probably stick with e-commerce makes me think that consumers are being extra forgiving with delayed delivery times and out of stock items at the major retailers in this time of mass hoarding.
The trickier part in getting all of the data going forward is the fact that this pandemic doesn’t have a hard end date. It will be amorphous and the extent to which social distancing measures are kept in place could depend greatly on where you live and your perceived threat.
Regardless, this outbreak is forcing people into all kinds of new behaviors, and now we have numbers to show that online grocery shopping is among them.