Delivery platforms drive online grocery growth

Dan Berthiaume
Senior Editor, Technology
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The online grocery vertical gained new users across the board in 2020, with on-demand delivery platforms seeing particularly high increases.

According to a new consumer survey from digital marketing platform Chicory, Target-owned online grocery delivery platform Shipt increased its user base by 57% year-over-year in January 2021. Rival delivery platform Instacart followed with 48% year-over-year growth.

No other online grocer experienced a year-over-year increase in users anywhere close to the levels of Shipt or Instacart, although more consumers did engage with the segment as the COVID-19 pandemic made in-person shopping more difficult. Stop & Shop/Giant Foods had the next-highest year-over-year jump in users (27%), followed By Kroger (24%), Amazon (9%), Albertsons/Safeway (8%), and Walmart (0.5%).

According to Chicory data, online grocery usage in January 2021 exceeded usage in October 2020 by 9%, July 2020 by 15%, and April 2020 by 10%. Walmart (used by 56% of respondents) and Amazon (36%) are still frontrunners in the online grocery vertical.

Almost two-thirds of respondents (65%) add to their online grocery shopping cart weekly or more often, following typical shopping list building habits. The percentage of consumers who place an online grocery order at least once a week rose 26% year-over-year.

Other notable findings include:
•    Over half (52%) of respondents use digital recipes and other online tools once a week or more often to plan for in-store trips, and 19.11% use them every few weeks.

•    55% of respondents intend to continue their current online grocery shopping habits in the event of widespread adoption of the COVID-19 vaccine.

Chicory conducted the fifth iteration of its online grocery shopping survey with 582 consumers in January 2021.