Instacart, Walmart Grocery and Shipt have seen respectively 218%, 160%, and 124% increases in average daily downloads compared to the previous month, according to research from Apptopia. This past Sunday was a record for each app, according to the report.
Target also saw a 98% jump in average daily downloads on Sunday over the average daily download in February, per Apptopia's findings.
But as grocery ordering apps rise in average daily downloads, food delivery apps have seen a decline amid the COVID-19 outbreak. The daily downloads of popular ordering apps like DoorDash, Uber Eats, Grubhub and Postmates declined from about 240,000 as of Feb. 15 to about 190,000 on Sunday, the company also found.
As the coronavirus outbreak continues, online grocery apps and services are confronting overwhelming demand. Sites like Peapod and Walmart have experienced intermittent outages and many shoppers are confronting delivery delays of at least a few days.
Demand at Fairway Market, which operates several New York City stores, has been "unreal," said Mike Penner, the chain's director of retail applications and technology. As of Monday, all delivery slots were filled up, he said. The grocer, which operates 14 stores in and around the city, has expanded delivery hours and brought in more workers, but delivery bandwidth is largely determined by the third-party fulfillment companies it works with.
“The capacity is limited to what we can get with Instacart shoppers,” Penner told Grocery Dive, noting the company also offers delivery through Shipt.
Instacart says it's seeing record demand across its platform and has more workers than ever before picking and delivering products. The company has added a doorstep delivery option, and according to a San Francisco Chronicle report, it's taking steps to speed up checkout and placing limits on certain products.
Adam Blacker, Apptopia's vice president of insights, said that consumers want to come in contact with fewer people, but "still need to accumulate supplies and groceries to hunker down during a period of intense social distancing."
The surge in downloads comes as grocery retailers like Walmart have been working on revamping their mobile presence. Walmart, for example, partnered with Apple to introduce its Siri integration back in November. Additionally, Walmart's grocery pickup program has become a leader in curbside pickup, attracting consumers who prefer convenience over in-store shopping.
Jeff Wells contributed reporting to this story.