18 Fascinating Online Grocery Shopping Statistics

The internet has transformed everyday life, and these online grocery shopping statistics will show you just how much.

With the rise of the internet, the way people work, communicate, and spend has changed significantly. From booking tickets online to shopping for groceries, ecommerce has undoubtedly taken the world by storm.

Online shopping has grown into a multi-trillion dollar industry, so finding any item online seems less and less like a far fetched idea. This market is competitive, highly fragmented, and it’s constantly changing.

Interested to know more? Here are 18 riveting statistics to feed your curiosity.

Top Online Grocery Shopping Statistics (Editor’s Pick)

  • In 2019, online food and beverage sales will likely increase to $19.89 billion.
  • There was a spike of 7.1% in online sales of groceries during 2019.
  • Staple pantry items made up 27.5% of the total grocery products bought in 2017.
  • Online sales of groceries in the US grew 22% in 2019.
  • With a 27% annual growth, Asia Pacific leads online grocery shopping.
  • Only 16.3% of online grocery shoppers purchase products based on packaging.
  • 52% of ecommerce traffic in 2018 came from mobile devices.
  • By 2022, 70% of US shoppers could be buying groceries online.

Online Grocery Shopping Stats - The Previous Years

1. 27.5% of the total grocery products bought in 2017 online were staple pantry items.

(Onespace)

Nearly a third of consumers opting to shop for groceries online bought staple pantry items, such as rice and canned goods. This is understandable, as people are generally confident in what they will get when buying these items. An additional reason for such a high number is that buyers can be pretty sure the products will hold up during the transit.

Grocery shopping statistics show that 20.5% of people purchased online special ingredients, like unusual spices, for example. These are notorious for being difficult to find in mainstream stores, so it’s no wonder people order them online. 

2. In 2019, online food and beverage sales were predicted to increase to $19.89 billion, becoming one of the fastest-growing online product categories.

(E-Marketer)

US grocery ecommerce growth is astounding. That said, the US market isn’t the biggest one out there. In fact, it seems to be lagging compared to other countries.

For example, while digital grocery sales in the US reached $23.9 billion, in China, they amounted to $50.9 billion. China is the biggest digital grocery player, with revenues predicted to be nearly four times higher by 2023.

3. A 7.1% spike in online grocery sales was recorded in 2019.

(Invespcro)

In 2018, the online grocery market saw a 5.1% increase in total grocery sales, growing by a further 2% in 2019. In the same year, 48% of shoppers purchased at least some of their products online. What’s more, 25% of them were prepared to buy over a third of all grocery items online.

The trend of purchasing grocery items online is steadily growing each year. Given the pandemic, it’s not likely it will be stopping any time soon. So if you haven’t already, we’d recommend signing up for some of the best food subscription boxes available in 2020.

4. In 2018, 52% of ecommerce traffic came from mobile devices.

(Visiture)

Online grocery shopping trends for 2019 show that companies are largely focusing on personalized advertising and marketing strategies. Another area of focus is mobile device shopping and targeting users on social media. Additionally, many offer digital wallets, free and fast shipping, and voice search.

5. According to online grocery shopping statistics, between 2010 and 2016, weekly online sales in the UK surpassed  £141.9 million.

(Statista)

This is an increase of nearly 50%. It’s no wonder that this type of shopping is one of the fastest-growing industries. 

When it comes to the biggest players in the industry, you’ve likely heard of all of them. The four major companies are Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Asda, and Morrisons. But when it comes to the single biggest player, the winner is Tesco. 

Online Grocery Shopping - Current Situation and Predictions

18 Fascinating Online Grocery Shopping Statistics 1

6. US Online grocery sales grew by 22% in 2019, and are likely to grow by 40% in 2020. 

(Freshplaza)

Due to the lockdown tied to the COVID-19 pandemic, US online grocery sales are estimated to grow by 40% in the current year.

In a survey conducted to test the shoppers’ habits, more than half of them said they had bought groceries online in the past year. Ecommerce accounted for about 2.6% of US food and beverage sales back in 2019, which may grow to 3.5% in 2020, or nearly $38 billion, as online grocery sales statistics show. 

7. 70% of US shoppers could be shopping for groceries online by 2022.

(Uschamber) (Invespcro)

Ecommerce in the US is already a huge industry. Statistics related to grocery shopping indicate that online supermarket sales revenues could reach $59.5 billion by 2023, which is a massive increase compared to the $23.9 billion garnered in 2018. That means the industry will likely see more than double the growth in five years’ time.

In 2020, the online market share of ecommerce could grow to 10%, according to an online grocery industry analysis.

8. The Asia Pacific leads the way in online grocery shopping, with an annual growth of 27%.

(Grandviewresearch)

The main reason for this is the promotion of digitalization and ecommerce by both the Indian and the Chinese government. 

For example, India launched a Digital India campaign in 2015, and has started increasing the number of people using the internet ever since. This figure is expected to reach around 828 million by 2021, while there were 636.7 million users in 2016.

9. Grocery ecommerce trends indicate that the European market size is likely to grow by 2023.  

(Statista)

The UK market is expected to lead Europe, with the market expected to increase from $14.6 million to $22.1 million by 2023. While the UK is predicted to be the biggest market for grocery ecommerce, Germany is expected to grow the most, from $1.3 million to $3.8 million.

In France, this industry is expected to grow from $11.6 million to $17.2 million, while in Spain, a growth from $0.9 to $2 million is predicted.

Habits, Behavior, and Demographics of Online Grocery Shoppers

10. No more than 16.3% of online grocery shoppers buy products based on packaging.

(Onespace)

A lot of marketing efforts go toward packaging. It’s not for nothing — good, enticing packaging is known to attract consumers. This typically works due to the nature of in-store shopping where consumers come into close contact with the products. As it turns out, these shoppers are 37.2% more likely to purchase an item solely due to its packaging, even though they may not be the best food and beverage products.

11. People aged 25-34 are leading online grocery shopping trends.

(Emarketer)

It’s no surprise that the average online grocery buyer is younger in age. 

About 55% of people aged 25 to 34 consider themselves likely to purchase groceries online rather than drive to the store to do their shopping. Males are more likely to shop online than females, with around 38% of online consumers being male compared to 29% being female. 

12. Only 11% of consumers bought their groceries online before COVID-19. 

(Gallup)

Online grocery shopping statistics state that when it comes to online shoppers, 15% of full-time employees are likely to purchase groceries online at least once a month. Additionally, Americans aged between 30 and 49 years of age are more prone to shopping online.

In 2017, roughly 84% of Americans said they never experienced groceries shopping online, with only 9% making this purchase once per month. 

13. 39.7% of online shoppers actively look at new brands, and only 3.1% of all grocery shoppers use voice-based ordering.

(Onespace)

According to online grocery ecommerce statistics, around 61.4% of offline grocery shoppers tend to actively look at new brands, while online consumers tend to stick to their habitual purchases. 

Furthermore, while tech companies are looking to push voice-based grocery shopping, most consumers are skeptical, with only 3.1% saying they have used it in the past. Almost two-thirds said that voice ordering is not appealing as they can’t see what they’re ordering, while 69.2% had difficulties putting in large orders.

Other Relevant Online Grocery Store Statistics

18 Fascinating Online Grocery Shopping Statistics 2

14. Instacart sold around $700 million worth of groceries by mid-April.

(Tech Crunch)

The COVID-19 outbreak made some industries bloom, and online shopping was one of them. For instance, Instacart, known for not stockpiling produce, has become more profitable. 

The outpour of business had the company selling around $700 million worth of groceries in the first two weeks of April, which is a remarkable 450% increase to its sales in December 2019, grocery store statistics revealed.

15. Online baskets have a 30% higher value than in-store baskets. 

(Onespace)

One of the lesser known grocery store online shopping facts is that the average basket size differs between channels and delivery methods. 

The average basket value for the usual click-and-collect grocery orders currently sits at around $72. This is roughly 30% higher than the basket size for offline grocery shops. This might be explained by the fact that most committed online shoppers do bulk shopping to obtain free delivery or to make the delivery charge worthwhile.

16. In the past 12 months, 62.6% of consumers bought groceries online on Amazon.

(Supermarket News)

Amazon remains the most popular retailer in the online grocery industry, with its Prime customer benefits program boosting its sales. A whopping two-thirds of customers purchasing goods through Amazon have a Prime membership.

Walmart is in second place, with 52.3% of surveyed consumers saying they have purchased groceries online from the supermarket giant. However, it leads the charge in the increase of online shoppers, recording 14.9% more shoppers than a year prior, while Amazon had a negligible 0.1% increase. 

17. In April, Instacart controlled 57% of the weekly market share, surpassing Walmart.

(Forbes) (Food On Demand News)

The online grocery market share by company constantly changes, with mega-companies typically being in the lead.

This April, however, Walmart’s market share significantly decreased, shrinking to around 25% from the previous 40-50%. That said, it is still number one when it comes to grocery sales, garnering around $191 billion annually. 

18. US digital purchase power increased by 4.1% in 2020.

(Adobe)

This means that more people can afford to shop online. Furthermore, this trend is likely to continue due to the projected deflation of goods, online grocery shopping statistics suggest. 

In April 2020, there was a 110% boost in online sales across the US, which can be explained by the enforced lockdown.

Conclusion

It’s easy to see that ecommerce in the grocery industry is very competitive, with giants like Walmart, Amazon, and Tesco battling for the top place. This is unlikely to slow down as people continue to lean on technology and slowly transition to purchasing more and more products online.

As of now, online grocery industry analysis shows that China is the country with the largest digital grocery market. With the Asia Pacific being the region that is pushing to make online grocery purchases a norm, other regions could join in soon, making online grocery shopping a likely digital reality in the near future.

The statistics outlined above can certainly be helpful in having a better understanding of the industry. That is especially true if we take into account the huge effect the coronavirus pandemic has had on it.

FAQ

What percent of groceries are bought online?

In 2019, only about 6.3% of grocery-related products were bought online. With more than 90% of groceries being bought in-person, it certainly didn’t look like the industry was doing well. Most shoppers seemed to prefer the traditional way of purchasing groceries, at least a year ago. 

In fact, before COVID-19, only 11% of shoppers bought their groceries online. But this has slightly shifted with the 2020 lockdown rules, and many have entered untested waters and started ordering groceries online.

Who uses grocery delivery services?

Admittedly, 2020 skews statistics a bit, as a lot of consumers have moved to having their groceries delivered. However, we can still make a general profile of the typical person using grocery delivery services. That person is female, aged between 40 and 55, and prefers to shop at Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s.

How many people use grocery delivery services?

This is a tricky question to answer due to the ever-changing nature of the industry. As the beginning of 2020 was marked by the COVID-19 pandemic and lockdown, Amazon has had to hire more personnel to handle all deliveries, as online grocery orders grew by over 60%. 

In 2018, however, only about 12% of US consumers were actively using grocery delivery services, with an additional 2% expressing curiosity toward it. On the other side, 68% of shoppers preferred to pick up their own groceries.

How big is the online grocery market?

Even though grocery ecommerce is on the rise, people still prefer purchasing products in-person, as these next few statistics will show.

A consumer habit analysis from 2019 showed that 41% of shoppers bought a small amount of their groceries online, while 31.4% bought nearly none of their grocery items digitally in the 12 months prior. Furthermore, 36.8% of adults purchased some groceries online in 2019, compared to 23.1% in 2018.

While US consumers seem to prefer buying groceries online, online grocery shopping statistics do show a yearly increase in online purchases.

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