The convenience and increasingly personalized experiences you get when shopping online have long been appealing to consumers. Add to that a global pandemic that saw people surging to online and mobile shopping for the ease, convenience and safety, and it’s clear that eCommerce isn’t going anywhere, even for grocery retailers.
In the U.S., online grocery shopping reached nearly $90 billion in sales in 2020, an increase of more than $30 billion. And in the U.K., the numbers are similar, with one in four consumers purchasing food online, a growth of 61 percent from last year. According to the same article, consumers say they’re shopping online for groceries for four main reasons:
- For the convenience (41 percent)
- They prefer not to go inside stores (40 percent)
- They just hadn’t thought about it before (20 percent)
- It helps with weekly meal prep (15 percent)
And while grocery shopping in general saw big changes particularly in the beginning of the pandemic, Forbes reported it was the online grocery shopping segment that presented the biggest change.
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As reported by Forbes, “A year ago, 81% of consumers had never bought groceries online, but during the pandemic nearly 79% of shoppers have ordered online. In August 2019, U.S. online grocery sales totaled $1.2 billion; in June 2020, that total was $7.2 billion. Over that same time period, the number of online customers increased from 16.1 million to 45.6 million and the average spend per order grew from $72 to $84."
But will online grocery shopping go back to its previous levels after the pandemic is well and truly over? Not likely. According to Food Navigator.com, even when relative normalcy is restored, online grocery shopping isn't going anywhere. And that’s largely because online grocery shoppers will be used to getting their groceries that way, and many simply won’t feel a need to return to their old ways.
Related: Future, interrupted: The new store of tomorrow and how retailers can adapt
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