onlinegroceryshoppin blog

Shopping for groceries online has grown significantly in the last few years with more user-friendly websites popping up, same-day delivery promises and tons of smartphone apps to facilitate the process. I’ve only tried online grocery shopping in the direst of circumstances – such as when I had the flu and all my helpful friends happened to be out of town on the same weekend. But that weekly five-block walk home from the local Jewel-Osco struggling to tote my heavy grocery bag makes getting my groceries delivered to my front door all the more appealing. 

I imagine these services are also growing in popularity in cities where many people in the city don't own cars, like here in Chicago. Many residents greatly rely on public transportation and walking everywhere, so major grocery trips can be a huge pain without a car. Sure, there are alternative solutions, like navigating your own rickety shopping cart through sidewalk traffic so you don’t have to carry super heavy items (read: cat litter) all the way home. But that adds another layer of annoyance to an already annoying chore. (I’m not a fan of grocery shopping in case you couldn't tell.)

Wth these factors in mind, it's no surprise online grocery shopping is on the rise. Brick Meets Click recently published a survey of 12,000 shoppers in three U.S. regions to measure online grocery shopping growth.

The most telling findings of the survey are as follows:

  •  The percentage of U.S. households that bought groceries online in the past 30 days has nearly doubled in just two years: 21% in 2015 vs. 11% in 2013.
  • 1 in 5 U.S. consumers is now an active user of online grocery services. These shoppers spend an average of 16% of their weekly grocery dollars online.
  • Three types of trips dominate online grocery shopping:
  1. Specific product shopping
  2. Major grocery shopping
  3. Subscription-based shopping. 

This means that consumers will expect more and more grocery retailers to provide online shopping opportunities. Whether that means partnering with a grocery delivery company like Instacart or providing a direct online shopping platform, grocery retailers will want to capture those customers who prefer to shop online.

There are drawbacks to online grocery shopping, of course. If you’re rather picky about your produce, it’s probably better to buy it in store. And some shoppers prefer to visualize the variety of brands and products before their eyes rather than through a screen. But for those of us who are too busy to make it to the store regularly, whether due to job or family responsibilities (or plain laziness, in my case), online grocery shopping is a welcome addition to the e-commerce market. 

In addition, moving forward with what technology has to offer shoppers will give grocery retailers a big leg up in the market. And the more ways customers have to shop at your store, the more likely they will be repeat visitors – whether via the physical location, website or, even better for those on-the-go consumers, a smartphone app.

Technology is always an evolving, so grocery retailers should take advantage of what it has to offer with online shopping opportunities and delivery services to better serve customers and encourage repeat business. 


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