Walmart, H-E-B come out on top in grocery pickup, delivery service

Walmart, Sam’s Club, and HEB named top performing US grocers for in-store, roadside pickup, and home delivery in a new study by global research firm Ipsos.

According to Ipsos, its first ecommerce review will measure online in-store pickup (BOPIS), curbside, and delivery services from major retail brands. In the two-pronged study, 2,000 US consumers were asked about their use, attitude and perception of pick-up and delivery offers from retailers. The researchers then conducted thousands of mystery shopping trips (150 per brand) that assessed the pickup and delivery services of national and regional retailers.

According to New York-based Ipsos, the test buyers checked the retailers’ pickup and delivery services at every stage of the process. Key performance indicators ranged from account creation, ordering and actual pickup / delivery to ease of use, user experience and likelihood of recommending service.


HEB was ranked # 1 on online grocery delivery service, achieving 99% order accuracy.

In the food retail sector, Walmart scored the highest on all measured attributes for the BOPIS service. One thing that made Walmart stand out, according to Ipsos’ e-commerce review, was the way it put up visible signage that led consumers to the grocery pick-up area found in 86% of stores visited. Rival Target also scored “exceptionally good” in BOPIS. The retailer had grocery orders ready when it was promised at 98% of the locations visited.

Walmart subsidiary Sam’s Club took first place in the roadside pick-up service. According to Ipsos, the warehouse club chain performed “near perfect,” particularly in allocating dedicated roadside parking spaces in 100% of the stores audited. The supermarket giant Kroger was a close second in the curb service. It did well in categories that customers found caring the most, and had orders ready when they were promised in 97% of locations.

Citing its consumer survey survey, Ipsos found that the main drivers of in-store and roadside pick-up were for pick-up locations, easy online account creation, contactless order pick-up, and on-time orders.

“Since the beginning of COVID-19, 78% of shoppers have used more BOPIS and roadside pickups and 69% expect them to continue to be used at the same or higher levels after the pandemic ends,” said Carlos Aragon, Vice President of the US broadcaster Performance at Ipsos.


Kroger was a close runner-up in curb service, having orders ready when they were promised in 97% of the stores visited in the study.

Ranked # 1 for HEB in food delivery, Ipsos found that the Texas chain has 99% accuracy on delivery orders. Amazon’s Whole Foods Market also did well in this regard, with an order accuracy of 95% on the mysterious shopping sprees. The study also cited a strong delivery by the discounter Aldi, namely the provision of delivery notifications for 95% of orders. Aldi’s same day delivery service is provided by Instacart.

Ipsos highlighted areas where groceries and other retailers could do better to deliver a positive, end-to-end e-commerce experience for customers, given the “huge growth opportunities” that still exist at BOPIS, curb and delivery.

All customers surveyed stated that clear communication is the key to collection and delivery. Still, more than a quarter of customers see room for improvement in communication for these services, according to the study.

When it comes to pick-up in particular, retailers need to offer dedicated roadside parking and put prominent signage to make it easier for customers, Ipsos said. Among the mysterious shopping trips, 27% of BOPIS locations were poorly marked or difficult to find. Order accuracy is of the utmost importance for delivery, but 9% of consumers surveyed said their order was incorrect.

“As the adoption and use of these new digital offerings continues to grow, it is important that brands have the mechanism in place to ensure they deliver a seamless and secure customer experience to these new users,” added Aragon. “With the Ipsos E-Commerce Experience Report, retailers can better understand how to serve customers in an increasingly virtual, touchless world.”

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