With COVID-19 keeping many families at home, online grocery sales rose 9% in June to an estimated $7.2 billion, according to a recent survey by Bricks Meet Clicks/Mercatus. The survey conducted June 24-25 indicates an estimated 45.6 million households used delivery and pickup services for their grocery needs last month.
The survey also found families placed 1.9 orders per month, up from an average of 1.7 orders in May. The increase in online orders was driven by increased concerns about the virus and greater online fulfillment capacity offered by retailers, the release states.
“Many grocery retailers have demonstrated amazing agility since the health crisis started, building surge capacity to better meet the astronomical growth in demand for shopping online,” David Bishop, partner and research lead for Brick Meets Click, noted in the release. “Today as shoppers have more choice, the increased capacity is now actually enabling the continued growth of online grocery.”
In June, 44% of all households reported high levels of concern about someone in their household contracting COVID-19, up 2% from the previous month, according to the survey. The over-60 age segment reported a 9% increase in high levels of concern, compared with May, according to the release.
The Mercatus survey found the likelihood for a shopper to use a specific online grocery service again within the next 30 days is at 57%, up about 1% from May but still below the pre-COVID repeat rate of 74% during August 2019.
Interest in receiving an online grocery order (via pickup or home delivery) rebounded in June, with 32% of all households being extremely or very likely to use a service within the next 90 days, up 2% from May, according to the release. The interest in using online grocery services was strongest among households who used these types of services in June, with 57% of that group indicating they are extremely or very likely to do so as compared to 17% of the non-active households.
“Even though some retailers have seen sales decline within their respective business, the new reality of increased capacity across the market – and related greater choice (or options) for shoppers – means that all grocery retailers will need to accelerate their efforts to make shopping online even more seamless to thrive going forward,” Bishop said.
More independent retailers began offering online options for pickup and home delivery in June, and the release said larger chains also expanded their online efforts.
Walmart is reportedly planning to launch a new subscription service dubbed Walmart+ later this month, according to insiders familiar with the service. Walmart first talked about the launch of Walmart+ in February but opted to postpone the launch due to COVID-19 concerns.
Recode first reported the late July launch on Monday (July 6), and said the new service will cost $98 per year and provide same-day delivery on groceries and other items as well as fuel discounts and eventually access to video streaming. Walmart+ is likely an evolution of the retailer’s recently expanded paid grocery delivery membership program known as “Delivery Unlimited.” That service also costs $98 per year or $12.95 per month.