Study: After a dip, digital grocery sales speed up

Digital grocery sales rose 24.6% in November over the month before after declining in September, and most shoppers say they plan to buy at least some groceries through the channel in 2023, according to a new report from Grocery Doppio.
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After dipping in September, digital grocery sales rose 24.6% in November compared to the month before, according to a new State of Digital Grocery Performance Scorecard from data firm Grocery Doppio.

What’s more, the study found that digital grocery sales are expected to grow in 2023, with 87% of shoppers predicted to order through the channels for at least some of their grocery buying. Overall grocery spending is slated to increase by 3% to 7% in the new year.

Digital grocery baskets expanded in November, with customers buying an average of two more items than they did in October. Overall basket size was 12.1% higher in November than the month before, Grocery Doppio said.

Digital sales represented 17.1% of the grocery market in November, up from 14.9% in October, for total sales of $14.7 billion.

But third-party providers appear to be losing steam, according to the study. Third-party transactions accounted for 19.7% of all grocery sales in November, down 1.2% from October and a total slide of more than 8% since Grocery Doppio began tracking the segment during the second quarter.

“In the early days of digital grocery’s boom, third-party providers and delivery were very popular with shoppers,” Gaurav Pant, chief insights officer of Grocery Doppio and partner firm Incisv, said in a statement. “2022 saw a maturation of both grocers’ ability to sell to their existing shoppers digitally and shoppers’ understanding of what really works for them. I think we will see grocers continue to assume more ownership over digital channels as they grow further in 2023.

That expansion will likely lead to tech upgrades. Eighty-one percent of grocery executives surveyed said they must invest in their technology tools, Grocery Doppio found, with leaders saying “budget, integration and talent” are their top challenges in 2023.

As third-party providers slide, pickup sales continue to increase, the study found. Total pickup sales grew to $8 billion in November, up $1.7 billion over October. Pickup now represents 54.3% of all digital grocery orders, up from 53.7% in October.

The research analyzed 15 million shopper orders and survey results from more than 18,000 shoppers and 1,800 grocery executives.



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