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The coronavirus pandemic has brought online grocery – a promising but formerly niche industry – to the fore. The combination of consumers’ interest in avoiding public places, government orders to stay at home, and the continued need for groceries and essential goods has made online grocery delivery services from the likes of Walmart, Amazon, Target, and Instacart indispensable.

Previously, some consumers resisted the shopping method because they wanted to pick out their groceries themselves and avoid extra fees, but the pandemic has forced many to change their priorities. And the sudden focus on online grocery is set to alter consumer behavior well after the pandemic subsides, accelerating the industry’s penetration in the US.

How well online grocers meet demand during the pandemic will play a major role in determining the top online grocers after the pandemic abates. Grocers’ ability to fulfill as many orders as possible in a variety of convenient channels throughout the pandemic will be important, as consumers may turn to different providers if they can’t place an order from one grocer through the channel they want – an issue that’s popped up in some markets for several grocers during the crisis.

But online grocers that can keep customers throughout the pandemic may be able to keep those shoppers for the foreseeable future: 75% of online grocery shoppers still shopped with their first-ever online provider, per a survey from Bain and Google from 2018. So, the grocers that meet the most consumers’ needs during the pandemic will likely lead the industry even after it subsides.

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In The Online Grocery Report, Insider Intelligence first looks back at how online grocery adoption was progressing prior to the coronavirus pandemic to understand the state of the industry before the shopping method became vital to many consumers. Next, we examine why the pandemic is popularizing online grocery services and the impact it’s already having on adoption. We then forecast how online grocery’s penetration will grow in the coming quarters and years due to the pandemic, and consider the factors that will determine the industry’s staying power. Finally, we analyze top online grocery players’ ability to meet surging demand during the pandemic and how that positions them to build customer bases that can last well beyond the pandemic.

The companies mentioned in this report are: Albertsons, Aldi, Amazon, BJ’s Wholesale Club, Costco, FreshDirect, Grubhub, Hannaford, H-E-B, Instacart, Kroger, Ocado, Peapod, Publix, Target, Uber Eats, Walgreens, Walmart, and Whole Foods.

Here are some key takeaways from the report:

The coronavirus pandemic is pushing consumers to buy essential products digitally, which is rapidly accelerating adoption of online grocery services in the US.
Online grocery’s staying power will come down to the length of …read more

Source:: Business Insider


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