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Online Sales Down 7 Percent

The online grocery market posted $7.2 billion in total sales in the U.S. in July, down 7 percent versus last year, according to a Brick Meets Click/Mercatus Grocery Shopping Survey, fielded July 29-30.

“July’s results reflect the growing financial challenges many consumers are facing today,” said David Bishop, partner at Brick Meets Click, in a statement. “These challenges along with evolving expectations, driven by experience engaging with Mass, are contributing to the growing gap between conventional grocers and their Mass rivals.”

Last month, the overall monthly active user base grew as the total number of U.S. households that bought groceries online increased nearly 5 percent versus last year. The growth was driven by a more than 7 percent increase in the pickup monthly active user base, while ship-to-home’s base remained flat and delivery fell 1 percent compared to July 2022.

Order frequency fell a sizeable 10 percent versus last year, reducing the total number of online orders by nearly 6 percent for July 2023. Delivery, which plummeted 13 percent compared to the prior year, accounted for almost three-quarters of the drop in online orders, while pickup fell by 3 percent and ship-to-home by 2 percent.

Mass experienced a surge in customers while grocery experienced a modest gain in the monthly active users during July, similar to the trend observed last month.

While order frequency declined for both formats, the drop for grocery was much greater than for mass. In addition, the average order value for grocery dipped by more than 5 percent while mass finished up very slightly.

Related: Industry Voices: Inflation Changed Consumer Behavior; Shipt Launches Student Membership Program.