In-store shopping still dominates grocery retailing, but adoption of ecommerce continued to grow in 2019, as retailers jockeyed to position themselves in the emerging online food business.
In 2019, Walmart—which already sells more groceries in U.S. stores than any other retailer—worked hard to pass Amazon (No. 1 in the 2019 Digital Commerce 360 Top 1000) as the leading nation’s online grocery seller. Meanwhile, traditional grocery store chains invested in new capabilities and services aimed at keeping existing customers and attracting new, digitally inclined shoppers.
Online grocery sales now account for just 6.3% of total grocery-related spending by households in the United States, according to Brick Meets Click, a strategic advisory firm focused on digital transformation in the food business. But ecommerce is a fast-growing sales channel, while stores are not. At a time when overall grocery sales are virtually stagnant, online sales grew 15% on a year-over-year basis, Brick Meets Click says. In 2020, the firm expects online sales to represent 7.0% of the U.S. grocery market.
To meet that demand, retailers are making ecommerce more widely available. As of September, Brick Meets Click found home delivery and pickup services were available to 90% of all the households in the U.S., up from 81% in 2018.
Here’s a recap of what happened in grocery ecommerce in 2019.
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