Survey Reveals E-Commerce Shifts in Grocery May Continue Post-Pandemic

Of the consumers surveyed, 78.7% reported shopping online for groceries since the onset of the pandemic, a 39% increase.

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Inmar Intelligence released a survey that identified a shift in shopper behavior as consumers adopt e-commerce for grocery purchases. The survey looked at the grocery shopping habits of more than 300 consumers from across the United States during the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Results show that since the onset of the pandemic, 56.7% shop for groceries online more often now compared to before the pandemic, indicating that a strong e-commerce presence is necessary in order to see continued growth and create brand loyalty as a grocery retailer.

Of the consumers surveyed, 78.7% reported shopping online for groceries since the onset of the pandemic, a 39% increase. Additionally, survey results revealed that consumers were inclined to select a retailer based on availability and convenience. Nearly 51% of those surveyed preferred a grocery retailer that had the desired product type available for purchase, and 39% selected a store based on whether the grocery pick-up or delivery time was available in the preferred window.

“Consumers continue to look to e-commerce options for their groceries due to the convenience factor,” said Jim Hertel, Senior Vice President, Analytics, at Inmar Intelligence. “This trend is likely to continue even as restrictions are lifted, as shoppers have grown accustomed to this routine. Today’s shoppers expect convenient and personalized engagements in every interaction, across all touchpoints. Retailers and brands must work to seamlessly deliver meaningful experiences that delight shoppers and drive loyalty.”

The survey also indicated a shift in where consumers are purchasing their groceries. Case in point: 51.4% of consumers purchased groceries from Amazon since the start of the pandemic, a 32% increase. Brand manufacturers and online grocery stores also saw increases in grocery sales, with a 117% increase in direct-to-consumer grocery sales and a 48% increase in grocery sales, respectfully.

The current pandemic has changed the way that consumers shop for groceries, and retailers need to ensure they are delivering a solution that provides shoppers with an online grocery experience that is convenient and cost-effective. Equally, there is a continued demand for digital savings opportunities, as this opens the door for retailers to increase their offerings while strengthening loyalty among consumers. 

“E-commerce impacts retail sales, growth and profitability more and more each day,” said Diana Medina, Vice President, Retail Transformation. As consumers continue to buy their groceries online, retailers need to start engaging shoppers in new, innovative and profitable ways. They need to look at building a comprehensive digital commerce solution that can serve as the foundation for future innovation while driving sustainable growth and maintaining customer relationships.”