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21 Incredible Online Grocery Shopping Statistics for 2020

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Before the days of the internet, we had to visit our local supermarkets to buy our groceries. Things have changed quite a bit since then. 

Thanks to our busier lifestyles, more and more people are buying their weekly groceries online, and this has been demonstrated clearly by the online grocery shopping statistics we have explored. Considering the price for delivery to your home, this is no surprise.

So, how popular is online grocery shopping today? After trawling through all of the grocery shopping online statistics we could find, the answer seems clear. Here are some interesting facts about the online grocery market to kick things off.

Fascinating Grocery Shopping Facts (Editor’s Choice)

  • 70% of US shoppers will be buying groceries online by 2022.
  • Walmart was the most popular online grocery store in the US for 37% of American residents.
  • By 2029, ecommerce warehouses could be fully automated.
  • Using in-store events, classes, or pop-ups can increase sales as much as 40%.
  • Grocery market share in the United States will experience an increase of $35.6 billion by 2023.
  • By 2024 the global grocery retail market will have grown by 24%.

Online Grocery Shopping Trends

Traditionally, most Americans did their grocery shopping in supermarkets,  but this situation is changing as more and more people switch to online shopping. Urban, young and affluent households seem to be embracing this trend most vigorously. 

1. By 2022, 70% of shoppers in the US could be buying their groceries online.

(Invespcro)

In 2018, only 48% of grocery shoppers in the US were buying at least some of their groceries online. Going forward to 2022, this number could rise to 70%, representing an increase of 22%, according to the latest grocery shopping statistics.

2. 83% of Americans shop for groceries at a grocery or other store at least once a week.

(Gallup)

It was revealed in a 2017 study exploring grocery shoppers demographics that 83% of US shoppers still buy groceries in brick and mortar stores once per week or more. This contrasts greatly with the number of US citizens who order their groceries for pickup or delivery. Only 16% did it at all in 2017, and the number drops sharply to 4% when we count only those who do it at least once a week. 

3. Merchants that link with logistics companies and trucking fleets can reduce their fleet costs by about 30%.

(LS Retail)

One of the recent grocery shopping trends is the linking up of logistics companies and trucking fleets via mobile apps. This is expected to share capacity between the various entities, which could reduce overall fleet costs by as much as 30%.

4. Young, affluent and urban households buy online groceries more than other demographics.

(eMarketer)

Online grocery trends in 2019 show that affluent, urban, or young households tend to be the demographic that is most likely to buy groceries online. Not surprisingly, these groups are also time conscious and crave value convenience.

Online Grocery Industry

Amazon was the most popular grocery store in the USA this year, according to online grocery shopping statistics. Target also proved to be popular, particularly for in-store purchases. The popularity of buying groceries online is definitely on the up. $189.81 million will be spent this year in total, while food and drink sales in the US will grow by 18.2%.

5. In 2019, 37% of respondents said Walmart was the most popular online grocery store in the USA.

(Digital Commerce 360)

This is a significant increase compared to the previous year when Walmart was just 1% ahead of amazon at 32%. Amazon isn’t a million miles away, however, at 29%, which is a dip from 31% in 2018. Following Amazon is the category “supermarkets/food stores,” which sits at 22%.

6. Only 15.7% of people buy online at Target.

(Supermarket News)

Online grocery market share by company tells us that only 15.7% of Target’s customers buy goods online. This is a far cry from Walmart, currently number one in this spot for online grocery shopping in 2019 at 37.4%.

7. $189.81 billion was spent on online groceries in 2019.

(Grand View Research)

This figure, based on online grocery shopping trends in 2019, is impressive. And it doesn’t appear it will fall anytime soon. In fact, between now and 2027, CAGR is set to increase to 24.8%.

8. Food and beverage sales expected to grow by 18.9% in the US during 2020.

(eMarketer)

In other words, sales will reach $23.65 billion by the end of this year. By 2021, this figure will grow even further, according to online grocery sales statistics. Sales will reach $38.16 billion. This is still only 2.7% of total food and beverage sales.

Statistics for Online Grocery Shopping

Ecommerce sales appear to be promising. Walmart alone saw a 41% improvement in its ecommerce sales at the end of 2019. As a whole, digital grocery sales could experience impressive growth by 2023 of up to 151%. And by 2029, ecommerce warehouses could be fully automated.

9. By 2029, ecommerce warehouses could be fully automated.

(Whisk)

Grocery ecommerce trends suggest that in ten years, ecommerce warehouses could be fully automated. This will allow companies to deliver cheaper and more quickly, which is what customers demand. Ocado has already created a semi-automated warehouse, but humans still need to be present to make it work.

10. By 2023 US digital grocery sales will increase 149%.

(Invespcro)

In 2018, total digital grocery sales in the US reached 23.9 billion, and it’s expected to grow to $59.5 billion by 2023, according to US online grocery shopping statistics. This is a 149% increase in digital grocery sales in the US, which is impressive growth for only a five-year period. 

11. Ecommerce sales for Walmart have improved by 41% by the end of 2019.

(CNBC)

At the end of 2019, Walmart experienced growth in its total revenue of 2.5%, and ecommerce grocery sales played a large part in this. Walmart online grocery shopping statistics have indicated that its online grocery sales improved by 41% in the same period.

Online Grocery Shopping Statistics - Store

Grocery Stores Statistics

Grocery stores experienced consistent growth between 2015 and 2020, buoyed by the strong economy, but curbed by inflation and strong competition from things like online grocery sales. There are still lots of things retailers can do to improve their sales, like build micro fulfillment warehouses on their premises. Despite a lack of growth, conventional supermarkets remain the most profitable category in the US, or so the online grocery shopping statistics tell us. 

12. Grocery store market size has increased by 1.2% per year between 2015 and 2020.

(IBIS World)

Grocery store statistics tell us that between 2015 and 2020, the market size has increased by 1.2% year on year. High competition is the primary negative factor affecting industry growth: specifically, the competition faced with online groceries. Another negative factor is inflationary food cost, which forces a shift towards more generic goods.

13. Using in-store events, classes or pop-ups can increase sales as much as 40%.

(LS Retail)

A Wall Street Journal report recently indicated that the retailer ‘Origins’ was able to improve their sales between 20% and 40% just by investing in techniques to encourage customers to linger in the store. However, grocery store trends tell us that this isn’t the only method for improving sales. Special events and pop-up experiences also boost engagement and improve footfall. This is encouraging for the future of bricks and mortar stores, as online grocery shopping or other forms of ecommerce simply cannot compare to this.

14. Micro fulfillment warehouses will grow 3x as quickly as last year based on current supermarket trends.

(Grocery Dive)

This is a prediction made by Chris Walton, former Target executive and founder of Red Archer retail. MFC’s, as they’re otherwise known, have the best of both worlds: a large warehouse and a store picking area. They’re often built into existing supermarkets, or use space within them. Customers can still shop around the perimeter of the store, and space is available to service those who only buy their groceries online.

15. Compared to 2019, the food at home prices have increased by 2.9%.

(USDA)

So why is this happening? One of the main causes is the increase in transport and commodity costs, which are forcing manufacturers to up their prices. At least, this is what grocery store industry trends are telling us. Paired with the rising popularity in online grocery shopping, it paints a rather grim picture of the industry. However, we are being reassured that supermarkets will remain competitive.

16. Out of all categories, US food and beverage stores are likely to experience the highest annual growth this year at 28%.

(Business Insider)

The figure, provided by the US Census Bureau and published on the Business Insider site, reveals that food and beverage stores are the clear winners in terms of estimated annual growth throughout this year. This goes to show that despite the rise of online grocery shopping, there is still clearly a place for food and beverage stores in the US.

Online Grocery Market Size

Between 2018 and 2023, the channel share in online groceries will grow slightly in the US. However, the wider market share is expected to grow even bigger by $35.6 million by the end of 2023. It’s not just the US who are thriving either. The UK, France, Germany, and Spain all have a large share in the online grocery market.

17. Grocery market share in the United States will be 3.5% by 2023.

(IGD)

US online grocery market share will have expected to have grown by 1.9% between 2018 and 2023, from 1.6% to 3.5%.  In raw numbers, that means that the online grocery market size in the US was $23.9 billion five two years ago and is set to increase by $35.6 billion by 2023.

18. At $178 billion, China has the largest sales value for online groceries anywhere in the world.

(Statista)

If you’re wondering which country has the biggest market share of online grocery shopping in 2020, this is currently China. In fact, when you compare it to the UK, which sits in second place at $28 billion, you can begin to see just how sizable it is.

Grocery Delivery Industry

Downloads of major grocery shopping apps now exceed 200% in the US. The global grocery retail market is also expected to increase to 25% by 2024. However, in the US, only 3% of people actually buy groceries online.

19. With total downloads of some online grocery shopping apps exceeding 200%, the grocery delivery industry is booming.

(CNN Business)

Because many people are stuck at home and unable to leave the house for shopping, people are increasingly turning to grocery apps. In fact, downloads of Instacart, Walmart, and Shipt have increased by 218%, 160%, and 124%, respectively, compared to only one year earlier.

20. By 2024, the global grocery retail market will have grown by 24%.

(IGD)

This recent supermarket statistic predicts that by 2024, the global grocery retail market will generate an extra $2.2 trillion in sales, representing 24% growth. Asia will account for the largest portion of this growth at nearly 50% of all new sales.

21. Only 3% of groceries in the US are bought online as of 2018.

(Bloomreach)

In other words, customers would rather head to their local grocery store to do their shopping rather than do the same in online supermarkets in the USA. The positive news is that by 2021, the market is expected to triple. So, it seems Americans are seeing the value of buying their food online.

Wrap Up

Once upon a time, only 48% of Americans actually bought their groceries online, according to online grocery shopping statistics. Today, despite the fact that only 3% of Americans buy groceries for pickup or delivery, this is expected to grow, indicated somewhat by the massive increase in the number of Americans downloading grocery shopping apps.

Online Grocery Industry Analysis tells us that Walmart remains the most popular online grocer in the US, followed by Amazon.

Things are being done to encourage more people to shop groceries online and make the process easier, like advances in transport, automated warehouses, and micro fulfillment. And this could be to the detriment of the brick and mortar grocery store. This market isn’t growing very much, and increasing prices may be putting people off.

FAQ

What Percentage of Groceries Are Bought Online?

72.4% of people said they bought ‘some’ of their groceries online while 11.6% bought ‘a lot.’ In short, most people buy groceries online, but not in large quantities.

Is Grocery Shopping Online Worth It?

Considering an hour is worth $15–20, and online delivery can cost $10, we would say grocery shopping online is worth it, particularly if you’re housebound or busy.

Who Uses Online Grocery Shopping?

Mainly young, affluent, and urban households, as we’ve already mentioned.

Is Online Grocery Business Profitable?

We’re not sure as many online grocers don’t publish their figures. A couple of sources have suggested that they aren’t. In fact, a 2015 article on UK online grocery businesses suggested they were losing up to £300 million per year.

Sources: