Those who work from home apparently want to stay there when it comes to purchasing groceries.
According to a report from Morning Consult, at-home workers are 25% more likely to order groceries on the internet at least once a week. The number is a bit bigger for hybrid workers, who are 31% more likely to ecommerce when it comes to food. The study found those who work in person are only 14% more likely to order groceries online. The Morning Consult, which has offices in New York City, San Francisco and Washington, D.C., is a global decision intelligence company that delivers insights and custom market research on what people think.
Diving in a little deeper, Morning Consult said 70% of at-home workers purchased all or most of their groceries digitally, with 66% of hybrid workers doing the same. Less than half (44%) of in-person workers prefer to buy most of their food online. Both at-home and hybrid workers also like to use apps for not only shopping but meal prep as well.
Most at-home and hybrid workers are tied to families and pull in more in terms of income, which traditionally lean on ecommerce more than other individuals. The report also noted most workers at home prefer not to make a special trip to the grocery store.
The U.S. online grocery market in March posted $8 billion in total sales, down 7.6% compared to last year, according to the monthly Brick Meets Click/Mercatus Grocery Shopping Survey. The year-over-year decline was driven by the large core eGrocery segments of delivery and pickup, which contracted 7.4% and 8.5%, respectively, as well as ship-to-home which fell 5.9%.
Cost considerations are now the most important factor in determining where customers shop and how they receive online grocery orders. During March 2023, “cost” rose in importance by 300 basis points (bps) compared to a year ago, knocking “convenience” (defined as “getting the order when you want without delay”) out of the top spot. For the month, 44% of households that used a pickup or delivery service from a grocery or mass retailer indicated that not paying more than necessary was the most important criteria in selecting an online grocery service.
The average number of online grocery orders completed by monthly active users (MAUs) continued to decline from pandemic highs, whether due to ongoing attempts to stretch a dollar, further decline in concerns about respiratory infections, or a combination of factors. In March, monthly order frequency dropped to 2.42, the lowest level since COVID disrupted the way Americans shop for groceries in March 2020, although still nearly 20% above the pre-COVID measure.
Monthly order frequency for both grocery and mass declined in March, but the downward trend was more pronounced for grocery. Order frequency dropped 10% among grocery’s MAUs, whereas it dipped just 2% for mass. While mass customers are still more likely to consider cost the most important criteria in selecting a service, grocery customers have become more cost conscious, and this shift may have contributed to the greater decline reported for grocery.