U.S. online grocery sales reached $8.1 billion during November, continuing a trend of more than $8 billion in monthly sales dating back to May, according to the Brick Meets Click/Mercatus Grocery Shopping Survey.
The survey found that 60.1 million U.S. households placed, on average, 2.8 orders during the month. Grocery delivery and pickup services generated sales of $5.9 billion, accounting for 73% of the total. Active delivery and pickup shoppers also reported a record-high repeat intent rate of 83%.
“Concerns about contracting the virus, stay-at-home orders, or retail restrictions motivated many to try a service within the last nine months, and now a significant share of those households considers online shopping a desirable alternative to an in-store trip. This presents opportunities as well as threats to established business models and practices,” said David Bishop, partner at Brick Meets Click.
Online grocery attributed to delivery and pickup services, increased 3.6% compared to August 2020—mostly driven by higher order volume. Growth was also fueled by increases in the number of households who used the services in the past 30 days and by higher order frequency.
“It’s evident the U.S. has an expanded base of engaged customers who continue to become more comfortable shopping online for a broader range of grocery products,” Bishop said. “And, when this happens as quickly as it has this year, it creates a range of challenges for service providers, including building capabilities and competencies, and managing costs and customers.
The findings are part of an overall trend of an increase in online spending during the month of November. On Black Friday, online sales broke an all-time record as consumers spent an estimated $9 billion on U.S. retail websites, according to Adobe Analytics.
That spending represents a 22% increase over a record $7.4 billion spent online in 2019. In particular, online grocery shopping on Black Friday surged 397% compared to October daily averages. Traffic to physical stores fell by 52% on Black Friday, according to Sensormatic Solutions.
Additionally, Adobe reported that Cyber Monday sales hit $10.8 billion after being projected as the largest online shopping day in U.S. history, reported Forbes (Dec. 1).
After analyzing data from one trillion visits to U.S. retail sites, Adobe also found that the total season-to-date holiday spending, including Cyber Monday, was over the $100 billion threshold by Dec. 1—a milestone not usually reached until mid-December.