Online grocery sales totaled $7.7 billion in the U.S. for the month of November, a 10% decrease compared to 2021.
According to the monthly Brick Meets Click/Mercatus Grocery Shopping Survey, fewer households purchased groceries online, and those who did ordered less frequently and limited spending per order, showing a desire to save money on Thanksgiving shopping.
“When it comes to shopping online – especially for delivery or pickup – cost considerations include more than the price paid for a basket of products,” said David Bishop, partner at Brick Meets Click. “Many customers also evaluate the total cost associated with using the service, which can include special charges, standard fees, and tips. And, when comparing the total of these costs to the customer, there’s a sizable gap in favor of mass versus grocery."
The total number of households that ordered groceries online using any of the three receiving methods, delivery, pickup, or ship-to-home, contracted 7% in November compared to 2021. According to the monthly survey, the decline was driven by a dramatic drop in the 60-and-older age group and a significant slide among the core customer segment of 30–44-year-olds.
Compared to the prior year, the grocery monthly active user (MAU) base shrank 5% while the mass base expanded by 6% as shoppers looked to save money. The share of mass MAUs who cited cost as the most important selection criteria has remained around 45% during that time, while the share of grocery customers who cited cost as their top reason increased from 25% in August 2020 to 38% in November 2022.
Spending per order across delivery, pickup, and ship-to-home remained unchanged versus November 2021. Delivery was the only segment that posted a gain in the average order value (AOV), climbing 4% compared to November 2021. In contrast, pickup and ship-to-home both finished 5% lower than last year. Grocery’s AOV dropped slightly, by approximately 140 basis points, while mass was essentially flat year-over-year.
The full November report from Brick Meets Click can be found here.