U.S. Online Grocery Shopping Consumer Behavior - Statistics & Facts

Online grocery shopping has been around for years but recently has started gaining steam among American consumers. The increasing prevalence of online grocery retailers has caused more and more Americans to ask the question, “why get in the car and drive all the way down to the grocery store when I can have fresh groceries delivered to my house at the click of a button?” In 2015, only eight percent of U.S. consumers were likely to buy groceries online, a share which has grown to over 30 percent by 2017. Some of the most popular online grocery retailers include Amazon, Walmart, and Kroger.

There is a significant amount of variation in the frequency of online grocery shopping across generations and geographical region in the United States. As the most tech-savvy generation, Millennial consumers have the highest share of online grocery shoppers of any age group in the United States, at 15 percent in 2017. In that year, the Eastern United States had the highest share of households that have purchased groceries online, while the Midwest had the lowest. However, the share of Millennials who have shopped for groceries with an online-only retailer has seen a decrease between 2017 and 2018. Generation X shoppers, on the other hand, seem to be shopping for groceries online more and more often over the years.

While an increasing share of Americans is more likely than ever to try online grocery shopping, the vast majority of U.S. shoppers still prefer to go grocery shopping in physical stores. A recent survey found that the main reason for this is that consumers like to see and choose products in person before buying them. This is especially true for female consumers, who seem to enjoy the experience of going shopping in a store more than male consumers. However, another survey found that a majority of U.S. consumers cite the price advantages and convenience of online shopping as top factors influencing their decision to buy groceries online. In addition, most consumers who have tried ordering groceries online were either satisfied or very satisfied with their experience.

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