Study: Pickup gains popularity with online grocery shoppers

While total online grocery sales in the US are shrinking, a higher proportion is being achieved through physical pick-up services.

According to Brick Meets Click / Mercatus Grocery Shopping’s February 2021 survey, total online grocery sales in the United States decreased to $ 8 billion in February, a 14% decrease from $ 9.3 billion in January because fewer households went online for groceries and a slightly lower number of orders received from month to month.

However, the delivery / pickup segment posted $ 6.1 billion in revenue in February, accounting for more than three-quarters of total online grocery sales for the month. In particular, pickup (including in-store, curbside, lockers, and drive-up) accounted for around 50% of online grocery sales and around 40% of online grocery orders.

The study revealed the following statistics on declining sales and order volumes:

• Monthly active online grocery users decreased 12% from 69.7 million in January to 60.1 million in February. Over 40% of this reduction came from the over 60 age group.
• Online grocery shoppers placed an average of 2.7 orders in February, a 6% decrease from 2.8 orders in January. Most of the decline is due to the Ship-to-Home segment, whose order frequency fell by 12%.
• The combined delivery / collection segments only decreased by 4% in a month-on-month comparison.

Despite lower total sales and order quantities, the average order value (AOV) for online grocery purchases rose 4% month on month. Brick Meets Click attributes this increase to the mix of stocks shifting towards the pickup / delivery segment, which usually involves larger orders. Households spent an average of $ 82 on orders placed by delivery or pickup in February. This is 55% more than home delivery orders.

Each of the Ship-to-Home and Delivery / Pickup segments also recorded corresponding increases compared to the previous month. The AOV for ship-to-home orders increased by almost 11%, while the AOV for pick-up orders increased by just over 1%.

Overall satisfaction with the delivery and collection of online grocery orders in February has stabilized, with 58% of households reporting that it is highly likely that they will place another order using the same delivery or collection service within the next 30 days.

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