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How Much Has Online Grocery Shopping Increased in 2020?

By Ferdi Vol
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Online grocery shops are great for saving time and money. People, in general, hesitate to buy groceries online. Well, this is no longer the case. The good news is online grocery shopping has actually increased in 2020 to a great extent. If you are curious to know, “How much has online grocery shopping increased in 2020?” This article is exactly what you need.

There was a significant amount of change in the growth rate of online grocery shopping in 2020. In America, the approximate growth rate of online grocery shopping was 53% in 2020. That means this sector made an increase of almost 30.86 billion USD from the previous year.

Online grocery shopping started booming in 2020. Not only in the USA but online grocery shopping also increased all over the world. There is several data and analysis that proves the rising growth of this sector. This article will help you find different data and statistics about the growth rate of online grocery shopping in 2020 and the reasons behind this increase.

Online Grocery Shopping Growth Report 2020

In 2020, millions of consumers had dabbled in online grocery shopping for the first time. Besides, people who used to make a few e-grocery transactions started to rely on this service even more in the year. Thus, no wonder online grocery shopping was taken to the forefront in 2020.

The Growth Rate in Different Countries

If I first take the example of the USA, this country has made a massive increase in this sector. Before 2020, industry forecasts for online grocery in the United States were usually in the range from $20 billion to $26 billion per year. The number reached approximately $89.22 billion in 2020, which is a massive increase.

The UK also made an increase in the growth rate in 2020. The online grocery market was expected to increase by 33% in 2020. That is £16.8 billion, up from £12.7 billion from the year prior.

From 2016 to 2020, the percentage of Canadians who shop for groceries online has risen from 5% to 17%. Online grocery stores were not a famous option for shopping in Canada. But the significant increase made an ample opportunity for the market.

Italy and France also increased 20% in online grocery shopping in the first quarter of 2020. The growth rate is a bit low in these countries, but that is way higher than the previous years.

RegionQ1 2020Q2 2020
APAC44%41%
North America28%34%
Latin America22%29%
MEA28%32%
Europe24%26%
(Source: GWI)

The above table shows the growth of online grocery shopping from quarter 1 of 2020 to quarter 2 of 2020 in different regions.

Growth in Online Grocery Retailers

There are many online grocery shops. Amazon, Walmart, Instacart, Fresh Direct, H-E-B are some of the top shops. All the companies made a considerable profit in the past year.

According to a blog of superfood,

  • Amazon is one of the top choices for online grocery shopping. 62.5% of US consumers bought their daily groceries from Amazon,
  • Walmart and Target were the choices of 37% and 16% of consumers, respectively.

To meet the unexpected increase in demand for online groceries in 2020, retailers had to broaden their offerings.

  • Amazon announced to hire 1lakh warehouse and delivery staff, whereas Walmart announced to hire 1.5 lakh employees.
  • H-E-B introduced an exclusive grocery delivery program for customers aged 60 and up in Texas and announced free delivery.
  • Instacart announced plans to recruit 3 lakh staff to meet the rising demand of online grocery.

The other retailers also took many initiatives as there was a massive demand for online grocery shopping.

Growth Comparison Between Different Years

Food and grocery are among the less developed industries in terms of online shopping, accounting for just 5.5 percent of total spending. But this is changing, and this is changing fast. With big companies like Amazon, Walmart, Target launching their online grocery services, more and more people are entering the online grocery shopping market.

This, along with the pandemic, is making more people reliant on online grocery shopping. The projection data indicates that by 2022, 10 percent of all grocery sales will be made online.

YearPercentage of Grocery Sales Made Online in the US.
20164.1
20174.8
20185.5
20196.4
20207.4
(Source: OneSpace)

Along with sales, the accessibility to online grocery options skyrocketed in the past years. Just three years ago, little more than a half of households had accessibility. It is looking like all households are like to gain accessibility in a couple of years.

YearAccessibility to Online Options in the US.
201768%
201881%
201990%
(Source: Superfood.digital)

Covid-19 has changed the online grocery market completely. People are afraid to go out, so if people deliver the daily grocery items to them, that’s an offer hard to avoid. Online grocery sales doubled in this pandemic, and all other parameters also rose significantly. This pandemic certainly changed the course of online grocery shopping.

ParametersPost Covid-19 Changes
Online Grocery Sales233%
Spend14%
Orders192%
Customers146%
Frequency19%
(Source: superfood. digital)

From the above discussion, it is now clear that online grocery shopping increased highly in 2020. The growth rate changed to a high number and made it a potential business sector for the future. 

Why Did Online Grocery Shopping Increase in 2020?

The main reason why online grocery shopping increased in 2020 is the Covid-19 pandemic. People have to stock up on food and daily necessities because of the coronavirus outbreak. Thus, they are leaning toward online grocery shopping.

The following are few reasons behind the increasing growth rate of online grocery shopping in 2020-

1. Government restrictions on going out

A worldwide lockdown was generated due to the coronavirus outbreak in 2020. Many people died of coronavirus, and many people were getting infected every day. Thus, the government of different countries imposed several restrictions to control the transition.

For the restrictions, people were unable to go out as frequently as they used to go. Also, maintaining social distancing is hard when you go to local grocery shops. So, more people started to buy their daily groceries from online shops.

2. People were scared to go out

As the death rate due to Covid-19 was huge, people were scared to go out. There is a high risk of getting infected with the coronavirus if you go to public places.

So, most people tend to avoid public gatherings. By shopping for their groceries online, they decided to ensure their safety.

3. Online grocery shopping were more widely available

The Covid-19 pandemic created a vast opportunity in the online shopping sector. Online grocery shops are no exception.

As more people were interested in shopping for their groceries online, many companies broadened their programs. Even many retailers started investing in this sector. So, many new online grocery shops were also introduced in 2020.

4. Online grocery retailers were offering many facilities

Different online grocery shopping companies started to take extra initiatives to attract more customers. As the competition in the sector was rising, the companies began to offer their customers many facilities to make the most profit.

Amazon, Walmart, Instacart, and many other companies expanded their investment in online grocery shops. They hired more staff and offered the customers facilities like free delivery and discounts on various products. Thus, more and more people started online shopping to avail the offers.

5. People are getting used to online shopping

Online shopping is already getting popular for various reasons. You can get your desired products from your home at any time. You can also compare different products, prices if you buy online.

People are getting more prone to online shops. Thus, they also took the opportunity to buy their daily groceries online. As a result, online grocery shops got a massive response in 2020.

Will This Trend of Growth Continue in the Future?

The trend of growth of online grocery shopping will continue as the pandemic has already opened the door of fortune to the industry. Many famous companies have invested in the sector, which created enormous possibilities for online grocery shopping.

People already started to buy their daily groceries online. It’s doubtful that they will go back to the regular hassles of traditional grocery shopping.  Online grocery shops got many new customers amid the pandemic, and 68% of them said they are not planning to stop online grocery shopping in the future.

The following table shows the approximate percentage of online grocery buyers from the year 2019-2023.

YearUs Online Grocery Buyers% change
201992.3 millions21%
2020131 millions41.9%
2021137.4 millions4.9%
2022143.1 millions4.1%
2023147.4 millions3%
(Source: emarketer.com)

Different surveys show that the change is going to stay. Here are a few things that suggest online grocery shopping will continue the trend of growth-

  • People are getting used to shopping for their groceries online.
  • Many big companies have invested in the sector of online grocery shopping.
  • New companies for online grocery shopping are launching.
  • Online grocery shops are offering many facilities to their customers.
  • Online grocery shopping companies are taking different initiatives to attract more customers.

However, if the trend is going to continue is not sure yet. If the companies consider lowering their prices and taking more steps to appeal to customers, online grocery shopping will continue to grow.

The Covid-19 era has affected global retail badly. Online grocery shops, on the other hand, made a massive rise in the growth rate. By now, you got the answer to the question, “How much has online grocery shopping increased in 2020?” So, don’t hesitate if you are planning to invest in the sector. Grab this excellent opportunity. Best of luck! 

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The Grocery Store Academy is a blog about everything that has to do with grocery stores. This is your #1 spot to find the right information for your needs.
About the Author
Ferdi Vol has worked several years in a grocery store and has a passion for good food. He's happy to share his passion with you!
About Ferdi Vol
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