TECHNOLOGY

Online grocery sales on the upswing, but sector needs to improve

BY Marianne Wilson

E-commerce grocery sales in the United States are projected to grow 10-times faster than in-store sales.

That’s according to Brick Meets Click’s newest sales forecast, which projected online as a percentage of total grocery sales will climb from under 5% at the end of 2017 to over 8% by the end of 2022. From a compound annual growth rate perspective, online grocery sales will grow 13% as compared to 1.3% for in-store sales (excluding the effects of inflation).

The report noted that while online grocery shopping promises to improve shopper outcomes in various ways, fulfilling the promise is still very much a work in progress, which creates challenges for growth.

For example:

• One-in-five online shoppers can’t find everything that they want to buy. In-market performance trails pure-play providers in this area slightly, but that’s likely because in-market basket sizes are considerably larger.

• What’s worse is when a customer puts an item in the cart, checks out, and expects to receive everything ordered only to find out something is out of stock. Reducing the difference between what’s ordered and what’s received is critical, especially for in-market providers, given the high frequency with which this occurs.

• Other factors also affect shopper satisfaction, including the direct and explicit cost related to using online shopping options.

For the online grocery format to grow, shopping experiences need to improve so that active online shoppers recommend these alternatives to others, Bricks Meets Clicks advised.

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