Brick Meets Click: 29% of U.S. households now using online grocery

Online grocery spending, though down from its summer peak, is much higher than it was at the same time last year. ( Brick Meets Click )

Retail consulting firm Brick Meets Click found in its most recent consumer survey that roughly 37.5 million U.S. households used online grocery services in the month of August.

That number represents 29% of U.S. households and growth of 133% from a year ago, according to a news release.

U.S. grocery delivery and pickup sales for August totaled $5.7 billion. In addition, average order value grew to $95 — a record high — and 75% of consumers who had used online grocery services in August indicated they planned to make a repeat purchase in the next month, per the release.

“This level of repeat intent is a significant improvement from June and slightly surpasses the rate reported during August 2019, which highlights how improved retail conditions are leading to stronger shopping experiences,” Brick Meets Click wrote in the release.

Average order value for August was 32% higher than a year ago, and order frequency among active shoppers has risen to 1.6 per month, up from 1.0.

While grocery delivery and pickup sales for August were still significantly higher than pre-pandemic, they were considerably lower than in June, down about 20%. Brick Meets Click attributes that dip to a decrease in the percentage of U.S. consumers who are avoiding public places due to a high level of concern about contracting the virus.

“There is a common belief that the rapid and dramatic surge in sales caused by COVID-19, starting in mid-March, would recede at some point as stay-at-home orders and in-store shopping restrictions like occupancy limits, shortened hours and one-way aisles were relaxed,” David Bishop, partner in Brick Meets Click, said in the release. “While the August results reflect a retrenchment of sorts, the market appears positioned to begin a new growth cycle with a large base of committed shoppers.

“These results reinforce that grocery delivery and pickup services will continue to play an important role for both shoppers and retailers going forward,” Bishop said. “What’s also evident is that customers’ expectations will grow even higher, making it critical for retailers to continue improving the entire shopping experience.”

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