Grocery e-commerce sales remain stable but high as pandemic continues

Dive brief:

  • Online grocery sales reached $ 8.1 billion in October, up slightly from the previous month, according to the latest e-commerce data from Brick Meets Click and Mercatus released Thursday.
  • Delivery and pickup orders totaled $ 6.4 billion, roughly in line with September and October numbers. but about $ 1.1 billion more than the summer sales period.
  • Grocery e-commerce has settled into a more predictable pattern after the pandemic-induced gyrations that marked 2020 and continued into 2021.

Dive overview:

Consumer interest in buying food and other household items online may have stabilized, but the report makes it clear that shoppers remain much more engaged in services that keep them from walking. in supermarket aisles than they were before the pandemic began last year.

Grocery e-commerce saw a lull in mid-2021 as vaccines rolled out and people felt more comfortable shopping in stores. Yet even at their lowest point for 2021 seen in July, delivery and pickup orders were significantly higher than in 2019, research showed.

Additionally, the current number of monthly active users – a key metric – was higher in October than the total number of households in August 2019 that had placed at least one grocery store online in the previous 12 months. About half of American households shopped online in October, according to the report.

Door-to-door sales, which include orders sent to consumers by courier services like FedEx, UPS and the United States Postal Service, were also flat in October at $ 1.7 billion, roughly where they rose. been for most of 2021.

Courtesy of Brick Meets Click

Brick Meets Click partner David Bishop noted that the calmer pace of online sales should make it easier for grocers to strategize for the coming year.

“As the number of new COVID-19 cases in October continued to decline, key performance indicators (KPIs) for monthly active users, order frequency and average order value rebalance from record highs. 2020 and now provide a foundation for building and forecasting the business into 2022 and beyond, ”Bishop said in a statement.

The report says buyers are particularly interested in pickup. This channel accounted for 37.9% of online grocery orders in October, 8 percentage points above the level seen in November 2020. Using the same measure, the delivery share of 29.6% last month accounted for a gain of only 2 percentage points.