NEW YORK– Chicory, the leading digital shopper marketing platform for CPG and grocery companies, released the results of a new national grocery consumer research study, Online Grocery Usership Changes from Pre-Pandemic to Present. The results of this fourth quarterly consumer survey quantify the impact of COVID-19 on online grocery usage by comparing current results to past quarterly studies throughout 2020. For an infographic of the high-level data captured from this survey, please visit this link.
Walmart Tops the Online Grocery Market
Today, Walmart (55%) and Amazon (40%) are frontrunners in the online grocery wars, but data shows that there may be room for all, as there are 18% more new online grocery users now compared to January 2020.
While Walmart and Amazon lost 12% and 30%, respectively, of online grocery market share from January 2020 to April 2020, Amazon regained 18% more share at an even higher level than all other quarters. Although Walmart lost a little over 1% of share compared to January 2020, the retailer still commands the majority of the online grocery market, with 55% consumers reporting that they use this retailer for their online grocery shopping.
While Amazon gained share, this was at Walmart’s expense and not at the expense of other retailers, as more consumers reported using smaller retailers at higher levels\. This further indicates that there are more online grocery users in the market this quarter than ever before.
Today, Target, Kroger and Instacart command nearly the same market share at 23%, 22% and 21% respectively.
From pre-COVID-19 to present, here is how much market share shifted for each retailer:
- Walmart: -1.27%
- Amazon: +17.49%
- Kroger: +17.68%
- Instacart: +27.75%
- Shop & Shop/Giant Foods: +44.01%
- Shipt: +67.70%
- Albertsons/Safeway: +20.23%
From July 2020 to present, here is how much market share shifted for each retailer:
- Walmart: +15.03%
- Amazon: +33.51%
- Kroger: +4.65%
- Instacart: -11.23%
- Shop & Shop/Giant Foods: +9.84%
- Shipt: +18.93%
- Albertsons/Safeway: +17.74%
The leading retailers that consumers wrote in the “Other” section were H-E-B, BJ’s and Costco.
“Interestingly, Shipt, Stop & Shop and Giant Foods had the largest increases in market share compared to other retailers from pre-COVID-19 to present,” said Yuni Sameshima, Chicory’s CEO and Co-Founder. “This may be because while all other retailers were well underway with ecommerce development, Stop & Shop, Giant Foods and Shipt were still ramping up ecommerce awareness and development. And when consumers were confronted with limited retailer availability for purchasing groceries online, they turned to alternative choices that they hadn’t considered before. Now, Stop & Shop and Giant Foods operate their own ecommerce banners, having eliminated Peapod, and Shipt is reportedly adding 100,000 new holiday workers this year.”
Growth in Online Grocery Usership
Although many restaurants have reopened, survey results indicate that 64% of consumers are ordering groceries online and still cooking from home. In fact, online grocery usership in October 2020 exceeds levels from all other quarters, indicating that, at least for as long as this “new normal” is here to stay, consumers will also keep using online grocery services to do their grocery shopping.
Online grocery usership in October 2020 exceeded levels in all other quarters, indicating that consumers will continue to use online grocery services to do their shopping. Usership grew by 18.43% compared to pre-pandemic levels. October usership exceeds the previous quarter by 6.39% and even exceeds usage in April 2020 by 1.41%, meaning that the fall represents the highest usership period this year and marks a new period of growth.
Online Grocery Frequency
In each quarterly survey, the majority of respondents add groceries to their online carts weekly or more often. In October 2020, this amounts to 56.85%, with the rest (43.15%) adding to their carts every few weeks.
This is a slight 8.63% decline from frequency in July 2020 (61.98%), a slightly larger 14.34% decline from April 2020 (65.63%) but a small 5.96% increase from January 2020 (53.56%). This indicates that, overall, since pre-pandemic, more consumers are treating online grocery services as their regular weekly brick and mortar shops, building their carts with a full weeks’ worth of groceries at a time.
Survey results found a near even split between consumers who place an online grocery order once a week or more often (46.77%), and those that do so once a month or more infrequently (53.23%). This is a shift from January 2020, which had a 41.74% (weekly or more often) and 58.26% (monthly or more infrequently) split, but in line with April 2020 and July 2020.
In these two latter surveys, respondents were nearly evenly split with 49.69% online grocery shopping weekly or more often and 50.31% doing so monthly or more infrequently in April 2020. In July 2020, 50.96% online grocery shopped weekly or more often and 49.04% did so monthly or more infrequently.
This indicates that more consumers are consistently using online grocery services to replace their regular weekly brick and mortar shops compared to pre-COVID-19 usage in January 2020.
This also demonstrates that there are two distinct online grocer users: those who regularly use online grocery services to replace their regular in-store shopping and those who use online grocery services for a convenience only once in a while.
Online Grocery Spending
Shoppers in October 2020 indicated that they are making smaller purchases overall, likely due to the leveling off of “panic buying” behavior we observed earlier in the year. More shoppers are completing smaller purchases.
15.40% more shoppers now say they spend $25 – $50 per order, as compared to last quarter. Similarly 9.47% fewer shoppers responded that they spend $50-$75 per order; and 20.71% fewer shoppers responded that they spend more than $100 per order.
When taken into consideration alongside the less frequent orders being placed, but the overall growth in online grocery usership in general, we can surmise that the added features and benefits that online grocers are implementing are paying off — shoppers are seeing less friction in placing small orders via online grocery, and they are less concerned about hoarding food or items that were unavailable or out of stock earlier this year.
Chicory conducted its October 2020: Online Grocery Usership Changes from Pre-Pandemic to Present survey with 608 consumer participants from October 6 to October 7, 2020. The margin of error is +/- 5.083%.
Chicory conducted its July 2020 survey with 615 consumer participants from July 21 to July 22, 2020 with a margin of error of +/- 5.249%. Chicory conducted its April 2020 survey with 511 consumer participants from April 22 to April 23, 2020 with a margin of error of +/- 5.59%. Chicory conducted its January 2020 survey with 1,083 consumer participants from January 15 to January 16, 2020 with a margin of error of +/- 4.17%.
Chicory is an NYC-based tech firm and the leading digital shopper marketing platform for CPG and grocery brands. Its signature “Get Ingredients” button can be found on over 1,500 recipe websites, including Taste of Home, Delish, Betty Crocker and thousands of influencer food blogs. Leveraging its extensive recipe network, Chicory partners with leading CPG brands like General Mills and grocery retailers like Wakefern to serve hyper-relevant ads to consumers in the moments when they’re planning their grocery purchases. As the pioneer of shoppable recipes, Chicory creates the digital tools to take grocery shoppers from inspiration to checkout in a few clicks.
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