Online grocery sales get holiday boost in November

Online grocery sales increased in November following two months of no growth, according Brick Meets Click's new report.
Zachary Russell
Associate Editor
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Online grocery sales increased in November following two months of stagnant numbers, according to the monthly Brick Meets Click/Mercatus Grocery Shopping Survey.

The U.S. online grocery market generated $8.6 billion in sales during November, which includes $7.0 billion from the pickup/delivery segments and $1.6 billion from ship-to-home. The 6% sales gain over last year’s $8.1 billion was driven in large part by an increase in the active shopper base. Online grocery sales were $8.1 billion during October, and $8.0 billion in the month of September, with both months having almost the exact same numbers for pickup/delivery and ship-to-home methods.

Brick Meets Click conducted the survey on November 29-30, 2021, with 1,785 adults, 18 years and older, who participated in the household’s grocery shopping.


Brick Meets Click November 2021

“Even as total online grocery sales increase, some conventional and regional grocers have reported softer sales performance during November, which is why looking at the broader eGrocery market is so important for identifying specific opportunities for improvement,” said David Bishop, partner at Brick Meets Click. “For example, not offering pickup is likely to weigh on sales growth. Failing to attract early-stage family households can affect growth prospects, and if the shopping experience isn’t comparable to mass rivals, that’s definitely hurting performance.”

During November 2021, nearly 69 million U.S. households bought groceries online, whether many items or just a few, representing a 15% jump versus last year. One-third of these monthly active users (MAUs) are in the 30 to 44-year-old age group. This demographic has grown over 25% since November of 2020 and now represents more than half of all MAU growth on a year-over-year basis.

Pickup orders, which grew in popularity due to the pandemic, continued to be a popular option. The segment grew dollar sales 29% versus last year, far outpacing delivery’s growth of 6% for the same period. Together, these two methods accounted for 81% of dollar sales in November 2021 compared to 73% of total sales a year earlier, while ship-to-home sales fell 27% in the past 12 months, reflecting changing buying patterns.

The weighted average order value (AOV) across all three receiving methods was $71.12 in November 2021. AOV was $86.30 for delivery, $83.44 for pickup, and $42.03 for ship-to-home orders.

Since January 2021, the average number of orders placed by MAUs has consistently ranged between 2.66 and 2.83, and November 2021 continued this trend with MAUs placing an average of 2.68 orders.