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Grocery Delivery Gaining Favor With Influential Urban Shoppers

Acosta report highlights unique shopping habits of city dwellers
Photograph: Shutterstock

Nearly 60% of shoppers who live in major cities or other urban areas are buying groceries online for delivery, highlighting trends among a growing and influential demographic, a new study from Acosta says.

The report, which provides detailed insights into the shopping habits and preferences of city dwellers, says the options for urban shoppers also vary significantly from that of suburbanites and those living in more rural areas. With residents of the top 50 most populous cities making up nearly 16% of the total U.S. population, urban grocery shoppers are becoming an increasingly influential demographic, the report says. 

Specifically, the Acosta report shows nearly 60% of urban shoppers said they bought groceries online either for mail delivery or door-to-door delivery, compared to less than 30% of suburban and rural shoppers. One in four urban shoppers reported ordering groceries online at least once a week, while 56% reported making a trip to the store specifically for prepared foods in the past six months.

Moreover, urban shoppers are more likely to rely more heavily on online merchants for a variety of goods and services. The report also said urban shoppers are 90% more likely than the average shopper to rank online ordering capabilities within the top three most important attributes for their grocery shopping experience, while 57% were more likely than the average shopper to rank easy-to-shop stores within their top three most important attributes for their grocery shopping experience. 

Additionally, the report found the different commuting habits of urban residents versus that of others may also have a big effect on purchasing behaviors. Compared to 34% of suburban shoppers and 20% of rural shoppers, 58% of urban shoppers reported they often stop for groceries on their way home from work or school, most often to buy only what they need for that night or the next day.

While both national grocery chains and smaller companies have begun to add grocery delivery as a standard service, bigger chains such as Ahold Delhaize’s Giant Food Stores and Walmart have also undertaken efforts to open stores and retail centers to cater to urban tastes. 

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