The grocery landscape is changing. What were once considered futuristic technologies like drones, robots and artificial intelligence are now merging with grocery retail and becoming more commonplace to expand and re-shape the shopping experience.
However, while more and more Americans are shopping online in lieu of going to stores, this trend has not yet hit the retail grocery industry in a significant way.
In fact, 9% of U.S. adults report their household orders groceries online for pickup or delivery at least once a month, including 4% who do it at least weekly, according to an annual consumption habits survey conducted by Gallup, Washington, D.C. By contrast, almost all Americans say someone in their family shops for groceries in person at least once a month, with 83% going at least once a week. Those who shop in person more than once a week spend more on average than others, yet there is no relationship between shopping online and amount of money spent.
Americans living in the eastern United States and those residing in cities are more likely to use online grocery shopping technology. Working adults are almost twice as likely vs. those who don’t work to conduct online grocery shopping. Income is not related to online shopping for groceries. At the same time, age has little relationship to shopping in person at grocery stores, which is nearly universal across all age groups.
Shopping for groceries online has a long way to go before it catches on with the vast majority of consumers. Traditional grocery stores may find their market share continuing to erode because of changing shopping patterns, particularly online shopping, and may be forced to maintain viability by cutting costs and reducing service.
Case in point: Online grocery shopping appears to be an adjunct to retail shopping rather than a replacement.