Online grocery sales grew more than 9% to $7.2bn in June – compared to $6.6bn in sales in May, a 24% increase from April sales ($5.3bn) – as household penetration of online grocery services rose to 35% to 46.5 million customers (up from 43 million the previous month), according to BMC/Mercatus survey which polled 1,781 US adults on June 24-25, 2020.
Purchase frequency also climbed 9% versus the prior month as active households placed an average of 1.9 online grocery orders for either delivery or pickup up in June, up from the average of 1.7 in May.
“Many grocery retailers have demonstrated amazing agility since the health crisis started, building surge capacity to better meet the astronomical growth in demand for shopping online. This increase in online grocery capacity has flipped the equation. Today as shoppers have more choice, the increased capacity is now actually enabling the continued growth of online grocery,” said David Bishop, partner and research lead, Brick Meets Click.
Retailers such as Giant Food, Stop & Shop, and Target have all expanded their online grocery fulfillment capabilities recently to respond to the increased consumer usage of delivery and pick-up services.
** (Note: The metrics exclude online grocery orders that are shipped to home via common or contract carriers.)
Online grocery motivators
Reported health concerns have impacted how consumers are shopping for their groceries opting for online services over traditional brick-and-mortar shopping, said BMC.
Forty-four percent of households surveyed in June indicated a “high level” of concern about catching/contracting the coronavirus, up from 42% in May. The increase was almost entirely driven by a 9% increase among shoppers in the over-60 age segment since May, according the survey.
The June survey also found that interest in receiving an online grocery order (via pickup or home delivery) will continue to increase over the coming months with nearly one-third (32%) of all households being extremely or very likely to use an online grocery delivery or pickup service over the next 90 days.
“Even though some retailers have seen sales decline within their respective business, the new reality of increased capacity across the market – and related greater choice (or options) for shoppers – means that all grocery retailers will need to accelerate their efforts to make shopping online even more seamless to thrive going forward,” added Bishop.