Online grocery sales were up 2.4% in December of 2022 compared to the year prior, according to the latest monthly Brick Meets Click/Mercatus Grocery Shopping Survey.
The online grocery market, including private label product sales, finished the month with $9.1 billion in total sales, a number only 2% lower than the record high of $9.3 Billion set in Q1 of 2021. Brick Meets Click said the increase in December was driven by a combination of more households buying groceries online during the month, coinciding with the holiday season, and slightly higher average order values (AOVs).
Pickup was the only method to gain sales during December, up 14.7%. Delivery declined slightly, down 1.8%, and ship-to-home fell 16.2%. More than half of all U.S. households ordered groceries online during December, up 4% the same month in 2021.
Brick Meets Click cited pickup as the category that benefitted the most from this increase in demand, as almost 5% more monthly active users (MAUs) opted to use this receiving method in December. By format, while the grocery MAU base climbed nearly 7% versus the prior year, the mass MAU base expanded nearly three times faster and attracted almost half of the total MAU base in December.
“The investments that mass retailers have put into their pickup services are a significant driver of the format’s gains,” said David Bishop, partner at Brick Meets Click. “And while lower prices are a contributing factor in the growth of the mass MAU base, being able to more consistently execute at the store level is also helping to strengthen retention and engagement with existing customers, especially when compared to grocery.”
For December, spending per order across the three receiving methods grew about 6% versus last year on an aggregate basis. Overall order frequency, defined as the number of orders received by an MAU on average during the period, decreased 7% versus December 2021.