Ecommerce grocery sales reached a total of $97.7 billion for 2021 as more than 70% of households (93 million) received at least one or more online orders during the year.
The survey was conducted by Brick Meets Click, the analytics and strategic insight consulting firm for the grocery industry, and Mercatus, an ecommerce support services company.
More than 70% of U.S. households (93 million) received one or more orders during the year. Even though most grocery retailers used third-party delivery platforms when they began selling online, the United States remains a pickup-dominant market, according to Brick Meets Click.
That dominance continues across markets of all sizes, except in some of the largest urban markets where delivery overtook pickup for the first time in December 2021.
“If retailers are surprised by these results, it’s likely because they are missing a broader view of how and where customers are shopping online for groceries,” said David Bishop, partner at Brick Meets Click.
“Even before the pandemic started, pickup was preferred over delivery. Then in April 2020, pickup took the top spot away from ship-to-home, and it’s kept that spot ever since.”
The state of online grocery in the U.S. today underscores not only the need for grocers to compete online for sales, but also the imperative to develop and implement more sound strategies that improve profitability as sales growth becomes more challenging, said Mercatus CEO Sylvain Perrier.
“In this regard, putting customer satisfaction at the center of the shopping experience is paramount and requires implementing an operational process that is not only efficient for the retailer but also caters to customers’ demand for quality and convenience.”