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The Top Digitally-Mature Grocers Grew 19% in Q3 YoY, 2.4x Faster Than Average Retailer Growth

The 2020 Grocery Digital Maturity Benchmark also revealed a new leader, with Tesco jumping 29 spots to claim the top distinction, pushing BJ’s Wholesale Club to No. 2

While the overall grocery retail segment grew 8% in Q2 2020 compared to Q2 2019, Incisiv’s second annual Grocery Digital Maturity Benchmark, sponsored by MercatusFlyBuy and ShopperKit, found that the top 25% of the most digitally mature retailers grew 19%, or 2.4 times the industry average. This year’s rankings also highlighted major improvements in digital capabilities for regional grocers, as well as high achievements for retailers ranked just outside of the top 25 in last year’s inaugural benchmark.

With the increased importance of new fulfillment methods during COVID-19 shutdowns, Tesco outperformed BJ’s Wholesale Club, causing the retailer to jump from its No. 30 ranking in 2019 to No 1 this year. Another retailer recognized for its achievements is Publix, moving from No. 46 in 2019 to the third-most mature retailer in 2020. Brookshire Grocery Company debuted within the top five this year, further emphasizing the competitive nature of smaller players in the new retail landscape.

In comparing to 2019 Grocery Digital Maturity Benchmark results, Incisiv found the following trends in digital evolution:

  • Search and discovery. The biggest gains were made in onsite search and navigation, with 11% improvement in the ability to search category-specific options, and 13% improvement in the ability to view deals in the primary site menu.
  • Ease of ordering. The 2020 benchmark showed 37% improvement in the ability to reorder from previous order history, and 16% improvement in the ability to see promotions while in the shopping cart view.
  • FulfillmentThe 2020 benchmark also found a 20% gain in grocers offering free delivery with a minimum order value. In addition, the majority of groceries added curbside pick-up in the US market.
  • Customer service and engagement. Digital maturation in 2020 pointed to an 18% gain in the ability for customers to save payment preferences and card details, and a 20% improvement in the number of grocers facilitating easy returns and refunds of products purchased online.

“Those who invested in digital early on are now reaping the benefits of higher sales growth. Based on our research, there are a number of digital offerings grocers should look to adopt,” said Amar Mokha, chief operating officer and benchmarking leader, Incisiv. “With the prevalence of curbside pickup during COVID-19, we were surprised that less than 5% of benchmarked grocers offered curbside pickup turnaround in two hours or less. Additionally, only 6% of grocers we benchmarked offered the ability to search online for in-store pickup options. We found that 21% of grocers this year enable shoppers to choose picking preferences, like produce ripeness.”

Click here to download the complete study. Incisiv and the title sponsors of the 2020 Grocery Digital Maturity Benchmark – Mercatus, FlyBuy and ShopperKit – will host a webinar on Oct. 13 to discuss the findings of the study. Click here to register.

The top 10 leading retailers in the 2020 Grocery Digital Maturity Benchmark include:

  1. Tesco
    1. Region: Europe
    2. Rank in 2019: 30
  2. BJ’s
    1. Region: North America
    2. Rank in 2019: 1
  3. Publix
    1. Region: North America
    2. Rank in 2019: 46
  4. Brookshire Grocery Company
    1. Region: North America
    2. Rank in 2019: Not assessed
  5. Target
    1. Region: North America
    2. Rank in 2019: 6
  6. Costco
    1. Region: North America
    2. Rank in 2019: 9
  7. Kroger
    1. Region: North America
    2. Rank in 2019: 7
  8. Albert Heijn
    1. Region: Europe
    2. Rank in 2019: 5
  9. Schnucks
    1. Region: North America
    2. Rank in 2019: 35
  10. Whole Foods Market
    1. Region: North America
    2. Rank in 2019: 52

Survey Methodology

The 2020 Grocery Digital Maturity Benchmark is an executive summary report based on Incisiv’s analysis of the digital presence of 90 leading grocery retailers, food banners and delivery providers in the U.S. and Europe. This was completed through observational research of buying journeys, with 195 individual digital attributes studied for each banner, alongside 50 million data points from Incisiv’s industry data pool. Incisiv also established correlation between the presence or absence of function features, and outcome metrics such as conversion, average order value (AOV) and traffic. As well, 48 million data points from the Q3 2020 Grocery Shopper Survey, conducted in partnership with Mercatus, were used to map and align customer expectations with the retailer offering. Because of the massive shifts in shopping behavior caused by the pandemic, Incisiv added close to 50 new attributes to this year’s Grocery Digital Maturity Benchmark, tied to new or enhanced offerings needed for search, fulfillment and customer experience.

About Incisiv

Incisiv is a next-generation industry insights firm that helps retailers and brands navigate digital disruption in their industry. Incisiv offers consumer industry executives responsible for digital transformation a trusted platform to share and learn in a non-competitive setting, and the tools necessary to improve digital maturity, impact and profitability. More information is available at incisiv.io.

About Mercatus

Mercatus helps leading grocers get back in charge of their eCommerce experience, empowering them to deliver exceptional retailer-branded, end-to-end online shopping, from store to door. Our expansive network of more than 50 integration partners allows grocers to work with their partners of choice, on their terms. Together, we enable clients to create authentic digital shopping experiences with solutions to drive shopper engagement, grow share of wallet and profitability, and quickly adapt to changes in consumer behavior. The Mercatus Integrated Commerce® platform is used by leading North American retailers, including Weis Markets, Save Mart brands, Brookshire’s Grocery Company brands, WinCo Foods, Smart & Final and others. Mercatus is headquartered in Toronto, Canada.

About FlyBuy

Radius Networks uses proprietary location technology to help companies deliver a frictionless customer experience and drive location-based transactions. Our FlyBuy location platform includes FlyBuy Pickup for optimizing customer curbside and in-store pickup; FlyBuy Tableside to improve the speed of ordering and service in-store; FlyBuy Pay to conduct contactless payments and streamline the checkout and payment process; and FlyBuy Drive-Thru for automating mobile identification, loyalty and pickup in the drive-thru process.

About ShopperKit

ShopperKit is an in-store order fulfillment platform designed specifically for Click&Collect in the grocery industry. As eCommerce continues its rapid growth, grocers are seeing their physical stores, located close to customers, act as natural distribution centers. ShopperKit’s in-store fulfillment system enables existing brick & mortar stores to receive, prioritize, and process orders from their online counterparts allowing grocers to offer in-store pickup or delivery services to their online customers.


Catherine Seeds
Ketner Group Communications (for Incisiv)
[email protected]
(512) 794-8876