The household penetration rate of grocery delivery and pickup services surged to 31% in March compared to 13% just six months earlier, leading to a likely permanent shift in behavior, according to a Brick Meets Click/ShopperKit Online Grocery Shopping Survey.
The dramatic surge in digital shopping behaviors is understandably driven by a desire to practice social distancing and has the potential to further accelerate a shift toward new shopping behaviors that were already growing rapidly.
For example, in the survey of 1,601 adults conducted March 23-25, 26% of those who shopped online said they used used online grocery delivery or pickup for the first time. For those 60 years or older, that rate jumped to 39%. Another noteworthy finding related to overall monthly order volume which surged 193% versus August 2019 levels. This significant increase is due to the increased number of households using grocery delivery and/or pickup services and a jump in monthly order rates, which is up 19% compared to August 2019.
COVID-19 is changing the way many Americans shop today, but will this increase last? When asked how likely they were to continue using a specific online grocery service after the COVID-19 crisis subsides or ends, 43% of the survey respondents indicated that they are either extremely or very likely to do so.
The rate of adoption likely will not slow anytime soon either, with 30% of respondents who have never used ecommerce for groceries saying they are either extremely likely or very likely to do so in the next three months if the crisis continues.
Once stay-at-home orders are lifted, social distancing is less critical and the coronavirus is a thing of the past, will people continue using online grocery pickup and delivery? When asked how likely they were to continue using a specific online grocery service after COVID-19, 43% of the survey respondents indicated that they're either extremely or very likely to do so.
"This is a reflection of current circumstances,” said David Bishop, partner at Brick Meets Click. “Some households are only using these online services temporarily until they feel comfortable shopping in stores again. Other households will continue shopping online for groceries but may choose to switch providers based on the quality of their experience.”