Report: E-Grocery Sales Slipped 1% Last Year

People made fewer online grocery runs last year, as perceptions about food prices and concerns about finances took a small bite out of ecommerce sales.

Brick Meets Click, a consulting company for grocers, says e-grocery sales eased 1.2% to $95.8 billion, highlighting the struggles regional grocers face in maintaining omnichannel relevance. Delivery and ship-to-home purchases fell more sharply, while pick-up continued to gain strength.

The Barrington, Illinois-based company tracks spending all year via the monthly Brick Meets Click/Mercatus Grocery Shopper Survey. Its data is drawn from more than 21,000 survey responses.

As the number of people making just one grocery order per month rose to 34%, the average number of monthly online grocery orders dropped 6% compared to 2022. And that had followed a 4% dip in the previous year.



The average order value rose 3%, not adjusted for price inflation.

The number of average monthly users increased a bit, growing 2%. People settled more solidly into their chosen shopping style, with 70% of shoppers now using one method exclusively, whether it’s pick-up, delivery, or ship-to-home.

Pick-up orders now account for 46% of all orders. While the increased competition among third-party marketplace providers resulted in more promotional activities and delivery options, sales dipped almost 1%, and it now has a 37% share. Ship-to-home orders saw the steepest drop, down 4.9%. Those orders now account for just 17% of grocery orders.

“These annual results show that 2023 was very challenging for grocery retailing as higher prices chipped away at household purchasing power, even though inflation has slowed considerably since its peak in 2022.” says David Bishop, partner at Brick Meets Click, in the report,

And there’s bad news for regional supermarkets. Meanwhile, mass merchandisers and “hard” discounters, such as Aldi, scored gains, up 15% and 12%, respectively, while supermarkets lost 4%. In its survey, 50% of shoppers engaged with mass marketers, such as Walmart and Target, and just 32% with supermarkets.

"As Walmart grabs market share through its price leadership and omnichannel strategies, regional grocers find themselves in a precarious position,” says Mark Fairhurst, global chief growth officer at Mercatus, in the report. “To remain competitive, they must intensify their efforts in improving customer engagement, offering tailored personalization, and building loyalty.”

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