- Online grocery sales for May totaled $6.9 billion, a 3.4% drop compared to the $7.2 billion recorded at the same time last year, according to Bick Meets Click and Mercatus’ most recent e-commerce report.
- Pickup’s share of sales hit a new record high, climbing 9.1% and making up more than half of e-commerce grocery sales for the month.
- Mass merchants’ monthly active user (MAU) base contracted more than 5% compared to the same period last year while grocers’ declined nearly 2%. Despite this, mass merchants' MAU base is still 40% larger than grocery’s.
Online grocery shopping’s overall sales drop in May was due to a decline in the number of households purchasing groceries online as well as a decrease in the average number of orders placed by active shoppers, according to the report. The survey was fielded May 30-31 with 1,792 adults who participated in the household’s grocery shopping.
Pickup was the only receiving segment to record year-over-year growth, capturing its largest share of sales to date at 50.7%, the report noted. Delivery, which not too long ago was tallying year-over-year increases thanks to providers like DoorDash and Uber expanding service, declined 11.7% compared to last year with its dollar share dropping to 32.5% for the month.
Inflation and a return to in-store shopping have caused online grocery shopping to decline significantly over the past year or so. The channel is expected to continue growing at a compound annual rate of 12% through 2027, according to Brick Meets Click and Mercatus.
In addition to fewer households buying groceries online in May, the average number of orders placed by MAUs came to 2.51, a 5% drop compared to May 2022. This continued the downward trend seen in MAU orders from the record high of 2.91 recorded in May 2020, at a peak period of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The decline in order frequency is the result of the growing number of MAUs who placed only one eGrocery order during the month,” David Bishop, a partner at Brick Meets Click said in a statement. “This accounted for one-third of all active customers and caused headwinds across all segments.”
Despite the drop in order frequency, overall spending per order rose nearly 8% last month, which the report chalked up to higher grocery prices. Pickup’s average order value (AOV) increased 13% in may while delivery rose just 5%.