Groceries Trail Other Categories in Transition to Online
With both Walmart and Amazon announcing an expansion of their online grocery delivery services this week, it’s time to take a look at the current state of online grocery shopping in the United States.
Over the past 20 years, e-commerce has steadily risen in size and reach. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, e-commerce sales accounted for roughly 10 percent of total retail sales in the U.S. last year, with some categories seeing a significantly higher share of online sales. Groceries have traditionally trailed other retail categories in the transition to e-commerce and, according to estimates from Kantar Retail, they will continue to do so.
According to Kantar’s findings, online sales accounted for 2 percent of total food and alcohol sales in the United States in 2016, up from 0.6 percent five years earlier. By 2021, Kantar expects the share of online grocery sales to climb to 5 percent. While that certainly is a significant increase, it is still far behind other categories as the following chart illustrates.
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