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Online Grocery Sales Dropped Significantly in February; Here’s Why

Total U.S. grocery online grocery sales pulled back to $8 billion for February, representing a 14% drop from January, according to data from Brick Meets Click.

Here’s a deeper dive into those stats, and what they mean for the grocery segment moving forward:


In February, fewer households went online for groceries versus the prior month. This could reflect a growing confidence regarding in-store shopping as COVID-19 vaccinations begin to roll out in earnest.

“Since some people shop online because of the weather and others fear of the virus, sales will probably continue to shrink as these situations improve,” said Bill Bishop, Chief Architect with Brick Meets Click. “The majority of online shoppers, however, do it because of convenience and they’ll continue to buy online. They’ll also be joined every month by a number of new online shoppers who recognize the convenience. This growth won’t be immediately obvious in the sales, but it will be happening as this ‘snowball rolls down the hill.’”

Monthly active users dropped 12% from 69.7 million in January to 60.1 million in February, with over 40% of the reduction coming from the over-60 age group.


Consumers also placed a slightly lower number of orders recently, the survey found. Online grocery shoppers placed an average of 2.7 orders during February, a 6% drop from January.

Most of the decline can be attributed to the ship-to-home segment, which had a 12% decrease in order frequency. The combined delivery/pickup segments were only down 4% on a month-over-month basis. In fact, pickup gained in both share of online grocery sales and share of orders, at approximately 50% and 40% respectively.


  • Pickup gained five percentage points of order share and accounted for about 50% of all online grocery sales completed during February.
  • February’s overall satisfaction level stabilized with 58% of households reporting being extremely/very likely to place another order with the same delivery or pickup service within the next 30 days.