Consumer survey exploring changes in online grocery usership
Chicory released the results of a new national grocery consumer research study, “Online Grocery Usership Changes Year Over Year”. The results of this fifth quarterly consumer survey quantify the impact of COVID-19 on online grocery usage by comparing current 2021 results to past quarterly studies throughout 2020.
Today, Walmart (55.77%) and Amazon (36.36%) are still frontrunners in the online grocery wars, but survey results demonstrate that other retailers like Target and Kroger and marketplaces like Instacart and Shipt have gained self reported users from Amazon (-9.01%) from October 2020 to January 2021.
However, both Walmart (+0.52%) and Amazon (+8.52%) gained online grocery users year over year. All other retailers also gained new users, indicating that there are just more online grocery users in the market compared to a year ago.
Online grocery usership growth indicates that, despite shoppers being settled into the new normal, they’re still choosing to shop for their groceries online. In fact, usage in January 2021 exceeds usage in:
April 2020 by 10.26%
- July 2020 by 15.22%
- October 2020 by 8.86%
The majority of respondents, 64.86%, add to their shopping cart weekly or more often, following typical shopping list building habits. Further, 26% more consumers place an online grocery order once a week now compared to a year ago.
“[…] there are two distinct online grocery users: those who regularly use online grocery services to replace their regular in-store shopping and those who use online grocery services to supplement their in-person trips for specialty or bulky items,” said Yuni Sameshima, Chicory’s CEO and Co-Founder.
Shoppers in January 2021 indicate that they’re more regularly incorporating online grocery shopping into their regular shopping habits, and spending is beginning to mimic regular in-store trips.
“31% of consumers are meeting average thresholds for their online grocery purchases, plus 43% are placing an online grocery order once a week, indicating that many consumers are completely replacing regular in-store grocery shopping trips with online orders. We’re seeing sustained frequent online grocery shopping behavior, and this leveling off of average trip spend indicates that it’s becoming a habitual behavior to conduct entire grocery shopping trips online,” said Sameshima.
How the vaccine changes in-store and online grocery shopping
Chicory also asked if the adoption of the COVID-19 vaccine would impact respondents’ likelihood to shop for groceries in-store vs. online and learned that there is a near 50-50 split between consumers who will remain online grocery users or transition to in-store. We know that today’s omnichannel shoppers don’t need to choose one or the other. Many use a mix of various shopping habits and incorporate digital content and tools into the path that works for their needs in that moment.
Over half (55.34%) of online grocery users expect to keep shopping for groceries online, or are unsure about how shopping habits will change with the release of the COVID-19 vaccine. 45.65% of online grocery users expect to return to in-store shopping, at least partially, due to the COVID-19 vaccine, and these consumers will still incorporate digital content and tools into their path to purchase.