Research Outline

Top Online Grocery Platforms


To identify and provide data and statistics of consumer preferences and usage of online grocery platforms in the U.S. Research focus is on top online grocery platform's sales, users, preferences (overlap), and any other pertinent related data.

Early Findings

There exists a plethora of consumer data covering online grocery platforms and grocery delivery services, both in the U.S. and globally. The initial hour of research highlights some of the more pertinent data as well as providing overall industry data. All data provided is relevant to the changes COVID-19 has had on the industry.
  • A myriad of online grocery platforms exists in the U.S., and their availability depends on the regional location of a user. For example, Money Crashers lists 5 of the top online grocery sites including Instacart, FreshDirect, Amazon Fresh, Peapod, and Shipt. However, 40% of these platforms only offer regional service and are not available in significant parts of the U.S.
  • A survey of U.S. shoppers last summer from online grocery consultant Brick Meets Click shows U.S. online sales of groceries for delivery and pickup reached $7.2 billion in June, and "45.6 million U.S. households used online ordering to buy at least some of their groceries" last June.
  • In addition, order frequency among active consumers, defined as those that bought groceries online over the previous 30 days, was 1.9 orders per consumer in the same month, June. The survey also detailed, "The likelihood that a shopper will use a specific online grocery service again within the next 30 days was 57.0%, climbing less than one percentage point from May to June."
  • BrizFeel surveyed 30,000 consumers recently, and the results showed "46% of consumers made a purchase online for groceries."
  • GroceryDrive reported "Instacart’s share of the online grocery market reached a high of 57%" last April. To the contrary, Walmart's market share dropped approximately 25% last spring. The report designated Walmart, Instacart, Amazon, Target and Shipt as the largest online grocery retailers.
  • Specifically related to consumer preferences and usage of online grocery platforms, an analysis of 20 industry sources performed by Super Food Digital explained "that 75% of online grocery shoppers have stuck with their first online store".
  • The report found, "Online grocery shoppers just use initial incentives for the discounts and then just go back to their traditional grocery store ways". Referring to The Atlantic as a source, "The No. 1 reason many customers got groceries delivered was that they received an incentive to do so. But when those promotions go away, so do the customers."
  • The Oracle Grocery Retail survey detailed that "during the pandemic, 86% of shoppers explored store owned brands and private label alternatives, with some having no plans of returning to their old favorites. Specifically, 32% intend to stick with the store brands, 34% will shop a mix of new finds and preferred brands, while 20% will go back to preferred brands."
  • A Super Market News report identified "more frequent online grocery shopping is leading people to shop at more retailers, as consumers reported making purchases from an average of 2.3 retailers online in the past 12 months".
  • Good Eggs conducted a survey this past autumn which showed "81% of those who have ordered groceries online for delivery say they will continue to do so (after the pandemic ends), with 43% still doing so but not as often, and 38% ordering them just as often as they are now."
  • Certain grocery categories have seen an increase in online purchasing this past year: specifically, "packaged non-fresh food (68.5% of respondents bought online); toiletries, personal care and diapers (63.1%); household cleaning and paper products (60.8%); frozen food (41.9%); bread and baked goods (41.7%); fresh fruit and vegetables (39.1%); fresh dairy, meat, fish and eggs (38.9%); cold non-alcoholic beverages excluding coffee, tea or cocoa (30.7%); chilled prepared foods (26.4%); and alcoholic beverages (12.5%)."