Online grocery shopping holds steady

An aisle of produce in a grocery store.

Written by James Shea

Many people have suggested that online grocery shopping would wane over time after getting a boost at the start of the pandemic. That does not appear to be the case based on a report by research firm Chickory.

For the report, the company surveyed people in December of 2021 and compared those attitudes from a year earlier. Overall, the survey shows that people are shopping for groceries online as much if not more than before the pandemic.

According to the survey, 50% of respondents typically spend $50 to $100 on their online grocery orders. Often, online grocery shopping is for staple goods rather than particular items. For 33% of shoppers, it’s pantry staples and supplies that are driving the majority of their spending.

“This suggests that shoppers are relying on online ordering for essentials, not just spur-of-the-moment wants, like snacks,” according to the report.

Amazon and Walmart are the most popular online shopping websites for groceries. That was followed by Instacart and Target. Kroger and Albertsons each had less than 10%. Kroger was more popular with consumers 60 and older, and Walmart was the most popular among people;e 18 to 29.

The report noted that opportunities existed for online advertising within shopping platforms. People are spending more time browsing items, which could lead to more advertising.

“The 2022 online grocery shopper is willing to spend more money, more frequently, which will likely yield higher returns for those investing in digital advertising solutions — as long as those solutions are catering to high-intent shoppers in a context that makes sense,” according to the report.

According to the report, 72% of those surveyed purchased groceries online within the last 90 days. By a landslide, the leading driver of ordering groceries online is convenience and/or time constraints at 46%. This speaks to evolving consumer expectations, which are increasingly centered around convenience and flexibility.

“Less than 10% of respondents reported health/safety concerns as their primary driver of ordering groceries online, signifying that digital grocery adoption is not merely a byproduct of the pandemic,” according to the report.

52% of respondents said they purchased groceries online at least once a week. A large number also reported that they only purchased groceries online for special occasions.

Approximately 68% of women and 67% of men add grocery products to their carts a minimum of once a week.

There aren’t drastic differences in online shopping behaviors across age groups either. Approximately 11% of our youngest respondents (18-29 year olds) and 9% of our oldest respondents (60+ year olds) place online grocery orders more than once a week, a difference of 2%.

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