Grocery Trends with Brick Meets Click – July 2022 Insights
The Brick Meets Click/Mercatus Grocery Shopping Survey for July 2022 found that online grocery sales in the US had jumped 17% year-over-year to $7.8 billion. This was driven by inflationary pressures as well as strong demand for delivery and pickup services, which were triggered by ongoing concerns about the COVID pandemic.
During July, more than 68 million households went online to buy groceries. This was a 3% increase compared to last year. However, only the pickup and delivery segments benefited from this increased demand. The MAU base for pickup expanded by more than 5% while the MAU base for delivery expanded by nearly 4%. In contrast, the MAU base for ship-to-home contracted by more than 4%.
Surveyed shoppers were asked to choose between two competing priorities: avoiding infection and saving money. The results showed that as concern about COVID-19 increased, so did the use of grocery Pickup and Delivery services. Among those who were “not at all concerned” about catching the virus, only one-fifth said they had used a Pickup or Delivery service in the past month. However, among those who were “extremely concerned” about infection, 53% said they had used such a service. This suggests that for many shoppers, the convenience and safety of online shopping is worth the additional cost. In a time of crisis, shoppers are increasingly turning to online grocery services as a way to protect themselves and their families from the threat of COVID-19.
Compared to July 2020, Grocery’s MAU base has contracted by over 10%. This is likely due to the fact that consumers are becoming more cost-conscious and are gravitating towards Mass, which experienced an increase of just over 1% in the number of MAUs.
The inflationary environment is also having an impact on spending, as the average order value (AOV) aggregated across all three receiving methods grew by 11% on a year-over-year basis. Delivery orders saw the largest AOV increase, growing by 13% compared to the prior year. This was followed by Ship-to-Home orders, which rose by 9%, while Pickup orders reported a more modest gain of 5%. From a channel perspective, AOVs for both Pickup and Delivery orders climbed by 9% in Grocery and 10% in Mass.
July 2022 saw a 3% increase in the average number of monthly online grocery orders per MAU, with customers ordering 2.8 times on average. This is the highest order frequency since December 2021. The gain was not evenly distributed, however, with Pickup gaining more than 2 points of order share ( finishing with 39% of all orders) and Delivery gaining around 1.5 points of order share ( finishing with 31% of all orders) while Ship-to-Home’s order share dropped 4 percentage points to under 30%. When looking at key channels, it showed that Mass customers increased the number of monthly orders by 5% while Grocery customers decreased. All in all, July 2022 was a strong month for online grocery ordering.
These trends are likely to continue in the months ahead as households seek to balance their budget constraints with the need for convenience and safety. For grocery stores, this means finding ways to appeal to both value-conscious shoppers and those who are willing to pay a premium for convenience.