Since the pandemic, grocery shopping online has become increasingly popular, and it looks like it’s here to stay.
Online grocery shopping sales increased 17% compared to July last year. Both pickup and delivery sales increased. Pickup sales were $3.4 billion in July, a steady rate since June. July 2021 sales were at $2 billion.
Grocery delivery sales were at $3 billion in July, a 20% increase from last month when sales were at $2.5 billion.
Households ordering groceries online went up 3% from last year for a total of 68 million households. Pickup and delivery options increased 5% and 4% respectively while ship to home options shrank 4%.
Why it’s news
The increase in grocery pickup options seems to be somewhat related to concerns about COVID-19 infections, according to a survey sponsored by grocery e-commerce specialist Mercatus. Those surveyed who were concerned about COVID were more likely to use pickup or delivery the more concerned they were about contracting COVID.
Even with pandemic concerns lessening, it doesn’t seem like online grocery shopping will go away. Though the cost may be higher than shopping in a store, that doesn’t seem to deter buyers.
Pickup orders are generally less expensive than delivery or ship-to-home options. While inflation doesn’t seem to be deterring shoppers from the convenience of grocery pick-up, there’s always a chance that could change.
The survey determined that 41% of all U.S. households used pickup or delivery services in July.
While online grocery shopping is convenient for buyers, that convenience comes at an extra cost. The average order value of online grocery carts rose 11% year over year for the month. Delivery orders increased the most at 13% and ship-to-home orders rose 9%. Click and collect, or pickup orders, rose 5%.
Supermarkets saw a 9% average order value increase for pickup and delivery while mass merchants saw a 10% increase from July 2021. The increases were predominantly related to inflation.
“Online customers are highly motivated by convenience, and pickup offers customers a higher degree of convenience and control at a lower cost than delivery. My advice to regional grocers is to use your store locations to your competitive advantage and promote pickup services to your delivery customers,” Mercatus CEO said.