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COVID-19: Here's How Much Online Grocery Sales Are Increasing Amid Pandemic

Here's how many Americans have turned to online grocery shopping.
Here's how many Americans have turned to online grocery shopping. Photo Credit: Brick Meets Click

The demand for home delivery and online store pickup grocery sales have skyrocketed during the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, according to a new report.

Home delivery and store pickup online grocery sales reached a new 30-day record for April, hitting $5.3 billion and marking a 37-percent increase from $4 billion in March, according to the latest Brick Meets Click and Symphony RetailAI Online Grocery Survey.

The report found the month-to-month sales growth represents a 33 percent increase in the monthly number of online orders, from 46.9 million to 62.5 million. There was also a 3 percent gain in order size — from $82 to $85 — as households continue stocking their shelves during the pandemic.

According to the survey, in April, approximately 40 million online grocery shoppers received a home delivery or picked up an order. On average, online shoppers made 1.6 orders for delivery or pickup over the past 30 days versus 1.2 orders for March.

Customer satisfaction in online grocery services is also up, with 50 percent of users saying they would likely use the same provider again, up 3 percent from a month ago.

Of those polled, 47 percent had a high level of concern about contracting the virus, while 39 percent experienced a drop in monthly income while losing hours or jobs.

“These two factors are particularly important for retailers to understand,” according to David Bishop, partner at Brick Meets Click. “The level of concern that customers have about their health affects how they choose to shop — online or in-store — and the loss of income impacts where consumers shop and what they buy.”

Kevin Sterneckert, the chief marketing officer at Symphony RetailAi said that traditional retail stores are going to have to potentially transition moving forward as the country enters its “new normal.”

“The ongoing shifts in spending mean that retailers will need to work carefully in applying historical sales data to forecast future sales, if they are going to be accurately aligned with shoppers,” he said. 

“True demand, which includes lost sales and other characteristics beyond transactions at the register, is crucially important here. Today’s retail winners will be those that best understand their customers and can meet and exceed their expectations the fastest.”

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