retail news in context, analysis with attitude

The monthly Brick Meets Click/Mercatus Grocery Shopping Survey is out, saying that "The total U.S. online grocery market posted $9.3 billion in sales during January as more than 69.7 million U.S. households placed on average 2.8 orders across delivery, pickup and ship-to-home … The delivery and pickup segment captured $7.1 billion in January 2021, accounting for 77% of all online grocery spending during the month. "

Other conclusions from the study:

•  "Total sales grew 15% in January 2021 vs. November 2020, driven largely by a 16% increase in the number of households buying online. Among the total household monthly active users, 78% engaged with either a delivery or pickup service – up from 64% in November."

•  "The ship-to-home usage rate dropped from 56% to 46% during the same period. Even with this growth, January’s overall usage rate fell short of the record 76.7 million households who shopped online in April 2020 when much of the U.S. was living under stay-at-home orders."

•  "While the average number of total online grocery orders placed by monthly active users for January 2021 remained at 2.8, essentially flat versus November 2020, the delivery and pickup segment collectively gained nearly six percentage points of order share, accounting for 66% of all online orders completed during January 2021."

•  "The average order value decreased nearly 11% in January 2021 versus November 2020 when analyzing the aggregated spend rates across all three segments (pickup, delivery, and ship-to-home)."

KC's View:

Some retailers will work on the premise that things will go back to the way they were, but there also are a lot of folks out there who are making significant investments in creating an e-grocery infrastructure that is appealing, convenient, relevant and resonant.  I've become a dedicated PrimeNow user, and it is hard for me to imagine giving up that particular convenience.  Not for everything, for for many things.  And I don't think I am alone.