As consumers become more reliant on digital touchpoints during the pandemic, grocery ecommerce is continuing to balloon. This year, eMarketer expects online grocery sales in the US will grow by nearly 53 percent in 2020, reaching $89.22 billion—an increase of $30.86 billion from a year prior.
There will be 131 million digital grocery shoppers in the US this year, a 42 percent increase from 2019. By 2023, that number will grow to 147.4 million, according to eMarketer.
By 2023, eMarketer anticipates online grocery sales will reach nearly $130 billion, accounting for 10 percent of total grocery sales.
The age of COVID-19 marks many shoppers’ first experience with grocery ecommerce and the habit is likely to stick. As reported by eMarketer, research from Aki Technologies and TapResearch found that 68 percent of new online grocery buyers said they’d continue to shop online in the future.
“We’ve got growth coming from new customers and growth coming from existing buyers who are either spending more frequently or more per trip. When you add these two factors together, what you get is astronomical growth,” said Cindy Liu, eMarketer senior forecasting analyst at Insider Intelligence.
For consumers who are avoiding in-store grocery shopping and don’t want to pay fees associated with online grocery delivery, curbside pickup has become the holy grail, surging 208 percent during April.
According to data from CommerceNext and CassarCo Strategy and Analytics, 43 percent of US internet users said they tried curbside pickup for the first time during COVID-19 whereas just 27 percent said they bought online and picked up in-store.
The online grocery boom comes as US ecommerce sales are set to reach $794.5 billion this year, up 32.4 percent year-over-year—a level not previously expected until 2022.