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Shoppers still cool to grocery pickup and delivery, survey finds

But despite low adoption rates, sales are high — and getting higher

While grocers of all sizes are focusing on pickup and delivery, a new survey shows that the number of people buying groceries via online platforms is still small, but the volume of online grocery shopping sales is growing rapidly — and is projected to reach $22 billion in 2019 and almost $30 billion in 2021, according to numbers from Statista.

A new study of more than 2,000 U.S. consumers from reports that 77% of American adults have not used curbside grocery pickup, while 81% have never used a grocery delivery service.

Of those respondents who do use curbside pickup, most of their dollars go to the local grocery store with an average order of $110.89. Respondents who use curbside pickup services from Walmart spend $100.55 on average, while those who have used Target’s Drive Up spend $108.56.

“The southern U.S. is a hot spot for the service,” said the report, “while much of the northeast (New Jersey is an exception) have low adoption rates. Much of the state-by-state variation is likely due to availability of grocery pickup services at local chains. However, it’s worth noting that states with dense urban areas like New York, the D.C. area and Massachusetts have some of the lowest adoption rates — likely due to the fact that grocery pickup caters to car owners and requires parking lot space.”

Adoption rate of grocery curbside pickup in the U.S.



Habitual users of grocery pickup (several times per week) are most likely to order from Walmart. For most shoppers, however, grocery pickup is more of a rare treat than a regular habit. Most use it once per month or less. noted that “while local grocery store chains come in second (in terms of how many people have availed themselves of pickup services), Walmart simply has a bigger footprint. More than 1,000 Walmarts offer in-car pickup, which dwarfs the number of locations in existence of any regional grocery chain. It’s also worth noting that Walmart’s curbside grocery pickup is free for orders over $30, while many regional grocery stores charge a fee of around $5.”

While Walmart dominates in the grocery pickup arena, the survey reports that another retail giant dominates in the grocery delivery world — Amazon.

“Amazon’s national dominance in grocery delivery is likely due to the proliferation of Prime,” noted “Prime has an estimated 100 million subscribers in the U.S. Having Prime gets you access to free Prime Now two-hour delivery for groceries, as well as free Prime Pantry shipping on orders over $35. If you’re already subscribed to Prime and paying $119 per year for it, why pay for another service for grocery delivery? Amazon’s dedicated grocery delivery service (AmazonFresh, $14.95 per month) is not included with the cost of Prime, but, if you already have a Prime Membership, signing up is seamless.”

Top Grocery Delivery Options



“Unlike with grocery pickup, the densely populated Northeast, West Coast and Pacific Northwest have some of the highest adoption rates of grocery delivery. For those who don’t own cars, outsourcing the grocery run (and the journey back, weighed down with shopping bags) is likely a welcome solution to one of the most challenging parts of urban life. It’s also worth noting that Washington state (home of Amazon and its many grocery delivery options) has one of the highest adoption rates in the nation for grocery delivery.”

Adoption rate of grocery delivery in the U.S.



According to the survey results, the top concerns consumers have about grocery pickup and delivery services are “that produce chosen will be bad” (30%); extra fees (29%); “I will forget something” (22%); “groceries being stolen or lost” (7%); the store won’t offer substitutions (6%); and the store won’t accept coupons (6%).

Aside from freshness, delivery fees are the major concern for potential users — when asked which factors most influence their choice of grocery pickup or delivery service, more than one-fourth of survey respondents (26%) cited delivery costs.

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