Online grocery sales grew to $8.6 billion in August in the U.S., a 4.7 percent increase versus a year ago, according to the Brick Meets Click/Mercatus Grocery Shopping Survey. Ship-to-home sales dropped nearly 22 percent from last year to $2 billion and the combined delivery/pickup segment grew 16 percent to $6.6 billion.
“COVID’s resurgence has clearly contributed to the August sales gain,” said David Bishop, partner, Brick Meets Click, in a statement. “While retailers don’t control the external market forces, such as the new wave of COVID cases that continued through August, they can choose how effectively their business is positioned to respond to the current circumstances that are disrupting their customers’ lives.”
The share of online customers that used both a grocery service and a mass/discount service to buy groceries during August rebounded slightly from July 2021 to 26 percent. The current level of cross-shopping was eight and 11 percentage points higher respectively versus August 2020 and 2019. The ongoing shift in how and where customers shop online for groceries reinforces the need for conventional grocers to manage how well they’re executing compared to the mass discounters, said Mercatus.
“While COVID has transformed customer behavior, the fundamentals of acquisition, retention and repeat purchase still apply,” said Sylvain Perrier, president and CEO, Mercatus, in a statement. “The more successful grocers continue to dive deeper into their customer data to better understand what’s building and, equally important, what’s hindering stronger engagement. This insight-driven approach is enabling retailers to learn to what degree they need to improve elements of strategy and/or execution.”