Online grocery sales up nearly 9 percent
The total online grocery market generated $8.7 billion in sales during February, a gain of 8.5 percent compared to the same period a year ago, according to a recent Brick Meets Click/Mercatus grocery shopping survey.
Pickup, the largest segment of eGrocery, grew 6 percent versus a year ago, generated $4 billion in sales and accounted for 47 percent of the total sales during the month. Delivery reported a year-over-year gain of 37 percent, which equated to $3.2 billion, capturing 37 percent share of eGrocery spending. Ship-to-home, which was the largest segment pre-COVID-19 with over 40 percent of spending, is now the smallest with just 16 percent; it finished with $1.4 billion in sales, down 24 percent year-over-year.
“New service providers, a broader range of retailers selling grocery-related products online, and services targeting faster cycle times contributed to delivery’s strong sales growth, but even so, more shoppers still prefer pickup for range of reasons that will benefit this service model going forward,” said David Bishop, partner at Brick Meets Click.
During February, shopper interest in online grocery shopping remained strong as over 68 million households bought groceries from a wide variety of providers and retail channels, which was nearly 11 percent higher than last year’s monthly active user base. All three segments — pickup, delivery and ship-to-home — reported double-digit gains in their respective MAU bases with delivery reporting the largest year-over-year gain at approximately 28 percent.
"Today, customer expectations for online grocery shopping are different than they were even a year ago, not to mention before COVID-19," said Sylvain Perrier, president and CEO of Mercatus. "To grow their online share of wallet going forward, conventional grocers need to find ways to better satisfy those changing expectations. Inflationary pressures suggest retailers should look at optimizing online meal planning, showcasing store brands, and encouraging repeat customers to take advantage of online loyalty discounts."