Will grocery e-commerce stay the same?
It used to be that it was the most natural thing in the world to drive to the store, get one item after the other from your shopping list, get enticed by some additional things, pay for your stuff, and go home. In 2019, most grocers were seeing e-commerce penetration in the 1% to 3% range – nothing to get overly excited about.
But as the pandemic hit, online shopping and grocery delivery – or pick-up in store – suddenly became widespread, simply because it was safer. Within weeks, e-commerce volumes exploded, growing to around 10% of total grocery sales by the end of 2020 in many regions. But will this growth continue even after the danger of COVID-19 comes to an end?
Experts say yes. Many consumers, who possibly would never have thought of ordering groceries online before the pandemic, have now learned that online grocery shopping is not only safer, but more convenient. In many households, the old shopping list has been replaced by the virtual shopping cart – including practical reminders, recipe suggestions and much more.
The virtual shopping experience turned into an everyday habit. As a result, experts anticipate post-pandemic grocery e-commerce penetration to range from 15% to 25%. And this substantial increase requires grocers to restructure their supply chain networks.