retail news in context, analysis with attitude

The June  Brick Meets Click/Mercatus Grocery Shopping Survey2021 is out, pointing to a "23% decline in total online grocery sales for June vs year ago," that, "much like in May, was driven by decreases in the number of monthly active users (MAUs), order frequency, and spending per order."

Some additional insights from the report:

•  "Monthly active users (MAU) dropped 12% to 63.5 million in June 2021 from 72.0 million in June 2020."

•  "The MAU base declined across all age groups with the youngest (18-29 years old) and the oldest (>60 years old) each dropping by more than 15%. The core customers (30-44 years old) dropped only 6%."

•  "Pickup’s monthly average user base jumped by almost 16% on a year-over-year basis, while delivery’s base declined 1% and ship-to-home’s base experienced a drop of 6%."

•  "During June 2021, monthly active users placed an average of 2.70 online orders, down 6% from 2.89 orders one year ago."

•  "Spending per order shrank as the weighted average across all three receiving methods declined nearly 7% in June 2021 versus a year ago, mostly driven by a drop in delivery’s average order value (AOV) that exceeded 11%."

•  "Compared to pre-pandemic spending levels, June 2021’s AOVs remained elevated, with delivery up 6%, pickup up 12%, and ship-to-home up 14% versus August 2019."

KC's View:

Two things that immediately occur to me.

First, the phrase "compared to pre-pandemic spending levels" means everything.  Online grocery always was going to back off once people started feeling more confident about going back out into the world.  That said, certain patterns have been established as being viable and even desirable.  

Second, I'm not sure I'd bet the farm on how long people will feel confident about venturing into the world, now that the Delta variant is wreaking havoc and infection numbers are climbing to way past the point where we can suggest that we have the pandemic under control.