Retailers

Walmart Wins With Gen X for Online Grocery Orders

Shoppers' go-to source for online groceries varies by age, and consumers are willing to spend more when they order online, new Chicory survey finds
online ordering
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Walmart has touted its plethora of online ordering and fulfillment options as convenient solutions for on-the-go millennial parents—and the Bentonville, Ark.-based retailer has gone TikTok-ing with Gen Z—but the customers most likely to turn to Walmart for groceries online are bit older, a new survey suggests.

Walmart is the most popular online grocery destination among 45- to 60-year-olds, according to advertising platform Chicory's 2022 Online Grocery Usership survey. In contrast, 18- to 29-year-olds say they're most likely to turn to Instacart to place an online grocery order.

For the third year in a row, consumers overall named Walmart and Amazon, respectively, as their top two sources for online groceries. Instacart edged out Target for the No. 3 spot, a ranking Chicory called "impressive and reflective of the overall rise in popularity of digital grocery solutions."

After Target (No. 4) was "Other," followed by Kroger, Albertsons/Safeway, Stop & Shop/Giant Foods and Shipt

See also: Abandoned Carts: Conventional Grocers' Online Sales Slid in 2021

Chicory's findings are based on a January 2022 survey of 1,017 consumers ages 18 to 85 who were asked about their online grocery buying behaviors and preferences. Seventy-two percent of those surveyed this month said they had ordered groceries online in the past 90 days, higher than during Chicory's previous surveys in April, July and October of 2020 and January 2021. 

"Online grocery shopping is more popular than it was at the height of the pandemic," the survey report's authors noted, with results of this month's survey "serving as further confirmation that digital grocery solutions are here to stay."

In the most recent survey, consumers' top reason by far for ordering groceries online was convenience/time constraints (46%), ahead of product availability/accessibility (a not insignificant 19%) and health/safety concerns (less than 10%).

A desire for convenience, even at a cost, likely is one reason most consumers say that grocers aren't their only online destination for groceries: Sixty five percent of respondents said they buy grocery products from drugstores at least monthly. Personal-care items and snacks are the typical grocery items most likely to make it into shoppers' baskets when they're placing an order from a drugstore online. 

Half of online grocery buyers said they typically spend between $50 and $100 when they place a grocery order online, and among that group, 60% reported ordering groceries online at least weekly. In addition, 35% of respondents said they had placed an online grocery order exceeding $100—a nearly 16% jump from January 2021.

Pantry staples and supplies drive online grocery orders for a plurality (33%) of respondents, according to Chicory. "This suggests that shoppers are relying on online ordering for essentials, not just spur-of-the-moment wants, like snacks," the report's authors stated. "These items also hold up during transport well, making them a no-brainer to add to cart." The authors added: "As online grocery shopping adoption increases, we expect shoppers’ comfortability ordering perishable items, like dairy or produce, to grow."

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