Has grocery e-commerce hit its glass ceiling?

In May 2022, Dunnhumby surveyed a nationally representative sample of over 2,000 US grocery shoppers to uncover shopper behavior and sentiments. In its latest Consumer Trends Tracker It takes a look at the growth and future of the e-commerce grocery market.

At the height of the pandemic, the share of shoppers purchasing groceries online increased from 43% to 56% in the fall of 2020, according to Dunnhumby.

Digital’s share of total grocery sales more than doubled during the pandemic, but nearly all online shoppers still buy in brick and mortar, where roughly 90+% of all customer dollars are still spent, suggesting that now that consumers can feel safe shopping in-store , their online shopping behavior will continue to cool.

“While Covid helped increase the share of online grocery, the lion’s share of grocery dollars is still spent in brick and mortar and will continue to be, far into the future,”said Dunnhumby.

Additionally, grocery web visits have trended down since March 2021 right around the time vaccines were made public, according to Dunnhumby.

“Let’s not forget that online grocery has been around for more than 20 years and it took the fear of death to get people to shop for groceries online in a meaningful way,”noted Dunnhumby.

To sum up consumers’ general feelings towards shopping for their groceries online, Dunnhumby cites an article from New York Times titled “We Can’t Predict the Grocery Future,” ​in which author Shira Ovide writes, “My wishy-washy analysis is that Americans haven’t fallen head over heels for buying bananas over the internet, but we aren’t rejecting it, either.”

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