NEW YORK — Online grocery shopping is more popular now than it was at the height of the pandemic, according to Chicory’s third annual Online Grocery Usership survey. The digital commerce platform surveyed more than 1,000 consumers in January and found 72% purchased groceries online in the past 90 days. More than half (52%) said they placed online grocery orders once a week.
Digital grocery adoption has increased steadily over the past two years, with the largest jump occurring between January 2020 and April 2020, during the initial wave of the COVID-19 pandemic. The rise in online shopping isn’t merely a byproduct of the pandemic, however, with less than 10% of respondents in the most recent survey citing health and safety as their primary driver for shopping online.
Convenience was the leading driver of continued e-commerce use. Forty-six percent of respondents cited convenience or time constraints as their primary motivation for ordering groceries online. Product availability or accessibility was the second most common driver at 19.3%. The issue could become more salient in 2022 as brands and retailers continue to face supply chain challenges.
“The results of this latest survey re-affirm that digital grocery is here to stay, as consumers continue to prioritize convenience and simplicity,” said Yuni Sameshima, co-founder and chief executive officer at Chicory.
The survey found more frequent add-to-cart cases gained popularity, with the majority of shoppers adding items to their online carts weekly or several times a week. This trend may be a sign that shoppers are using online carts to build their shopping lists regardless of where they actually complete their purchases.
Similarly, 40% of respondents reported using digital recipes on a monthly basis to prepare for in-store trips, and 27% reported using them weekly for the same purpose. Digital recipes were the third most popular place where shoppers bought products from a shoppable ad, after coupons and retailer sites.
“Brands looking to reach today's grocery shopper in high-intent moments need to be investing in solutions that will extend the on-site experience to off-platform locations like digital recipes,” Sameshima said.
Chicory also found an overall increase in year-over-year online grocery spend. One-in-three consumers reported spending more than $100 on an online order, up almost 16% from 2021. Pantry staples and supplies drove the majority of spend for 33% of consumers, followed by dairy or meat (18%), snacks (17.6%) and produce (16.6%).
Walmart was the most popular online grocery retailer for the third year in a row, with Amazon and Instacart holding their second- and third-place spots, respectively. Walmart was the most popular online destination among consumers ages 45 to 60, while Instacart was the most popular destination for consumers ages 18 to 29. Chicory expects more households will embrace digital-first retailers like Instacart as the youngest generation of respondents matures.