According to a new report by market researcher Brick Meets Click, total US online grocery sales were down 6% in March versus 2021, dropping to $8.7 billion versus March 2021’s record sales of $9.3 billion.
Bricks to Click defines the online grocery market in three segments: Ship-to-Home, Pickup, and Delivery. Ship-to-Home, which includes grocery delivered via parcel carriers (UPS, FedEx, USPS), saw the biggest decline, dropping by 30% from $2.1 to $1.4 billion. Pickup, which includes curbside, in-store, lockers, and drive-thru pickups, was down by 11%, dropping from $4.3 to $3.8 billion.
But it wasn’t all bad news. Delivery – which includes both grocer first-party (Kroger, etc.) and third-party service provider (Instacart, Shipt, Doordash) delivery – was up year over year, going from $2.9 billion to $3.5 billion.
In its analysis, Brick to Click pointed to the emergence of fast-grocery delivery as one of the reasons for the category’s growth.
“Two factors continued to drive Delivery’s strong performance in March,” said David Bishop, partner at Brick Meets Click. “First, the aggressive expansion of third-party providers into grocery is enabling additional ways for people to shop online, and second, newer services focused on faster cycle times are appealing to a broader range of trip missions and usage occasions,” he added.
One of the things we wondered early on in the pandemic was how much behavior change, such as online grocery adoption, would stick over the long haul. From the looks of it, many consumers are continuing to use online grocery shopping as the country emerges from the pandemic, but look to be mixing home delivery with trips to the grocery store.
You can read the full release from Bricks Meets Click here.