Inmar Intelligence Survey Reveals that Online Grocery Shopping Adoption Isn’t a Pandemic Fad, but a Long-standing Habit And Here to Stay

Inmar Intelligence | July 8, 2021

Inmar Intelligence, a data-driven technology-enabled services company, today announced findings from a recent survey of 1,000 U.S. adults that aimed to find out how consumers’ grocery shopping behaviors have changed. The survey examined if consumers shop for their groceries online or via mobile, what aspects of the experience consumers gravitate towards, if online or mobile ordering provides a better customer experience than shopping in-store and if these behaviors will continue. 

eMarketer predicted that grocery e-commerce spending will surpass $100 billion for the first time ever this year after accelerating during the pandemic and that it has now become a habit for millions of U.S. consumers. It’s the assumption that this trend skyrocketed only during the pandemic when people were forced to stay home, but Inmar Intelligence’s findings reveal that a segment of people were using e-commerce before the pandemic, and have now gravitated to ordering groceries via a mobile app or doing a mix of in-store and online grocery shopping, plus the others who have now joined in. 

Inmar Intelligence found that 87 percent of respondents had shopped online at least once before the pandemic. Of those online shoppers, the majority order 50 percent - 75 percent of their grocery list online and a quarter of shoppers order 75 percent via their mobile device. The top three reasons for shopping for groceries online are the speed to checkout, ease of use and product selection offered.

When asked if shoppers would return to in-store shopping once vaccines were widely distributed, 28 percent shared that they wouldn’t because online grocery shopping was just so much easier, and 27 percent said they may choose a hybrid approach of both online and in-store. Additional key findings from the survey include:

  • 39 percent of shoppers do 75 percent of their grocery shopping in-store, and only 19 percent solely shop online for 100 percent of their grocery list. 
  • Although 86 percent of respondents said they’ll return to in-store grocery shopping, a remaining 14 percent said they would not because they won’t feel safe or don’t have the time to go to stores.
  • Mobile grocery shopping is the next wave of adoption, as 25 percent of shoppers said they do 75 percent of their grocery shopping via a mobile device/app, and 20 percent said they do 100 percent of their grocery shopping via a mobile device/app.
  • Besides convenience, the checkout experience is what keeps people grocery shopping online vs. in-store, as 35 percent of shoppers felt that shopping online is a faster process from choosing products to checking out, 28 percent like the ease of checkout, 19 percent like the product selection and 50 percent just do it because of ease in general.

“It’s clear from these findings that grocery shopping online has taken the world by storm. After a year or so stuck inside, you’d think that shoppers would jump at the opportunity to get out, but the ease of use, time-efficiency, and wider product selection spanning beyond what their local supermarket provides, makes for a compelling service offering,” said Rob Weisberg, SVP, e-commerce Technology and Services at Inmar Intelligence. “As shoppers navigate what it means to go ‘back-to-normal’, the new normal will represent a mix of in-store and digital shopping. This data from Inmar Intelligence highlights new opportunities for grocery retailers to utilize e-commerce platforms to fit the needs of their customers and their updated preferences for shopping.”

Inmar is introducing Intelligent e-commerce, a differentiated white label solution that recognizes the shopper across all their devices and in-store, remembers their dietary preferences to personalize their experience, and integrates with their rewards program so they are automatically rewarded. In addition to providing a more relevant experience for shoppers, Inmar’s e-commerce offering is completely customizable, so the retailer’s digital brand is a natural extension of the in-store brand. 

For more information, visit our Solutions for E-commerce page.