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eGrocery’s New Reality

The Pandemic’s Lasting Impact on U.S. Grocery Shopper Behavior

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Q3, 2020

Areas of Investigation

  • Shopping online with grocery retail banners
      Shopper behavior, satisfaction and expectations
  • Changes in shopper preferences in 2020
      Preferences in destination, fulfillment method and category nuances
  • Insight into online grocery post-pandemic:
      Projected growth of online shopping
      How retailers can retain and grow market share

Survey Coverage

  • ~20 States Across the U.S.A.
  • ~60,000 Respondents
  • 48,000,000 Data Points Analyzed

Executive Summary

Adoption of online grocery shopping has exploded, but shoppers have remained far more loyal to their brick & mortar grocers than to any online-only alternatives.

While 87% of shoppers are satisfied with their preferred brick-and-mortar retailer and intend to remain loyal, they experiment with different online retail options. While overall online grocery shopping adoption has grown to 43% in 2020 (vs. 24% in 2018), online shopping at a preferred retailer is constant at 26%.

Shoppers are satisfied with online purchase options, but demand more customization and personalization.

Fifty-eight percent of shoppers are satisfied with the online shopping capabilities offered by their preferred brick-and-mortar retailer. They express high satisfaction with payment and fulfillment options, and would like more functionality added to online promotions and advanced product search.

COVID has not just increased adoption of online shopping, it has fundamentally changed how consumers shop.

With safety concerns being top of mind, slightly more than 50% of respondents have changed the way they shop. Thirty percent have opted for another shopping destination (mostly to other brick-and-mortar retailers), 40% have reduced their frequency and 46% have changed their preferred fulfillment method, with 52% of respondents preferring curbside pickup over delivery.

Post-pandemic, while the rate of online sales growth will stabilize, online adoption will continue to grow.

While approximately 60% of new online shoppers will revert to the familiarity of in-store shopping, lingering concerns over safety, combined with eGrocery’s added convenience and new online features capabilities, means online grocery will crest over ~21% of total grocery sales by 2025, or an estimated $250 billion. This represents an 8% increase over pre-pandemic eCommerce estimates.