Appetite for Online Grocery Shopping Is Steadily Increasing

21% of Americans expect to do most or all their grocery shopping online by 2024, new report reveals
Online grocery shopping
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If you think online grocery shopping is popular now, just wait until 2024.

Spryker Systems, an enterprise digital commerce platform, has released its U.S. Online Grocery Report 2022, revealing 21% of Americans expect to do most or all their grocery shopping online by 2024.

The research, conducted in partnership with Spryker and by market research firm Appinio, surveyed 2,500 consumers, ages 16-65, from across the U.S. on their experiences and opinions of grocery shopping.

Not surprising, big box retailers have the edge when it comes to consumers buying online, with 77% of U.S. consumers choosing to buy from retailers such as Costco, Walmart or Kroger. However, brand recognition is high when it comes to quick e-commerce providers.

“What’s clear is that the market is already big and will only get bigger when it comes to online grocery shopping in the U.S.” said Spryker co-founder and CEO Boris Lokschin.

U.S. grocery is a multitrillion-dollar retail industry, so how do Americans buy groceries? According to the report, 47% of Americans buy at least some of their groceries online and more than 1 in 4 online grocery buyers do all their weekly groceries online.

And when it comes to their top priority, experience reigns supreme, the findings in the report indicate. In fact, the report found that 7 in 10 online shoppers said the shopping experience and ease of use were key factors when choosing an online grocery provider. The experience is especially important given the main obstacle for shopping online was not being able to see and touch items before purchasing, the company said in a release.

Looking ahead, the report noted improvements in user interfaces will entice more shoppers online, such as better integration between digital and in-store shopping as well as the opening up of new innovative channels such as voice, VR/AR, internet of things and smart devices.

“Given that the report findings show that almost half (45%) of Americans don’t like shopping at all for groceries, it’s not surprising to see a growing number intending to do it online. It’s up to retailers to capitalize on this demand by offering innovative and engaging online experiences,” Lokschin said. “Those that don’t will find themselves being surpassed by ‘big tech’ companies like Amazon who are more prepared to invest in online technologies as well as quick commerce upstarts that outpace traditional retailers on speed and experience.”

Other highlights in the report showed that 34% of American online grocery shoppers say they spend more than $100 per week on online groceries and that more than 1 in 4 online grocery buyers do all their weekly grocery shopping online.

But a sobering statistic from the report reveals that almost half (45%) of U.S. consumers don’t like shopping online. And this is where Lokschin sees opportunity for growth.

“Arguably, the boost to online grocery shopping is going to flatten out and you won’t be able to acquire customers by ‘just’ being online. It’s time for retailers to start competing on experience, and there isn’t a clear leader,” said Lokschin. “U.S. retailers would be wise to look at the rise in online grocery shopping in other countries because there is a huge opportunity and appetite for further growth. Retailers that choose to move now will give themselves an advantage as more consumers look to shop online.”

In terms of third-party delivery, DoorDash was one of the most recognized e-grocery brands by 81% of U.S. consumers, followed by Grubhub (73%), Instacart (62%) and Postmates (62%), highlighting that no one supplier dominates the market.

The research also found U.S. consumers are unlikely to shop online for items when they need them at short notice—such as a missing ingredient for something they’ve planned to cook—with only 13% of consumers choosing to do so online. This indicates there is considerable opportunity for quick e-commerce providers to close this gap, given they would be uniquely placed to provide groceries on short notice and in smaller quantities.

Due to the impact of the pandemic, one of the main drivers for increasing online grocery shopping was personal safety. The report shows that 35% of respondents cited safety as a key reason for choosing online over brick-and-mortar stores. However, convenience still dwarfs other drivers, with almost two-thirds (59%) reporting this as the reason for choosing to shop online.

With the pandemic as one of the key triggers for consumers choosing to buy online, there is no indication in the data that consumers will go back to pre-pandemic figures, proving online is a more convenient solution and will only increase in time.


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