The survey also finds that parents are the most likely to download paperless coupons to a loyalty card.

Parents buy groceries online at more than twice the rate of consumers as a whole, and millennial parents do so at the highest rate of all, a survey released by media and marketing services company Valassis Communications Inc. finds.

In its survey of 1,000 consumers conducted in the third quarter of 2017, Valassis found that just 8% of consumers surveyed order groceries online once a week and pick them up locally. But that grows to 17% for parents and 20% of millennial parents. Also, 10% of parents and 13% of millennial parents say they order groceries online once per week from a local store and have the order delivered, compared with 6% of overall consumers.

According to the survey, 14% of parents and 15% of millennial parents buy food once per week from a “pure-play” online seller such as Inc. (No. 1 in the Internet Retailer Top 1000), Peapod (owned by Ahold-Delhaize, No. 62), FreshDirect LLC (No. 8) and (part of Walmart Inc., No 3). That compares with 7% of all consumers surveyed.

The Valassis survey comes at a time when grocers are ramping up their e-commerce businesses by adding pickup points for online orders and expanding delivery options nationwide, often in partnership with third-party delivery service providers.

Even when planning a trip to a grocery store, the Valassis survey found, the vast majority of consumers say they go to the web in search of ways to save money.

Among all the consumers Valassis surveyed, 81% say they search for coupons online prior to heading out to a grocery store. That number grows to 91% for all parents and 92% for millennial parents. Also, 73% of respondents say they download paperless discounts onto their store shopper/loyalty cards. Again, parents stand out, with rates of online bargain-hunting higher than consumers as a whole.

Coupon trends

The report also looked at ways consumers are using coupons, regardless of the kinds of goods they are shopping for. The survey found that old-fashioned paper coupons remain overwhelmingly popular with consumers, but electronic means for delivering discounts are gaining ground.

Valassis found that the use of paperless coupons—which the company defines as discounts received on mobile devices and shopper loyalty cards and not printed by the consumer—rose 9 percentage points over the last two years and 4 percentage points since last year, reaching 75%. Despite the fast growth, paperless coupons remain significantly less popular than paper coupons, which were used by 93% of consumers surveyed, up from 88% the previous year.


Apps gain ground

Also growing fast, according to the survey, is the use of mobile apps designed to save consumers money. The fastest-growing category is apps created by retailers for use by their customers. Those apps are now used by 56% of consumers, up from 38% in 2016, the survey found.