February 12, 2024

January U.S. eGrocery Sales Total $8.5 Billion, Up 2% versus Year Ago

For Immediate Release                                                                    

Media Inquiries 

David Bishop, Partner, Brick Meets Click 

847-722-2732, david.bishop@brickmeetsclick.com 


January U.S. eGrocery Sales Total $8.5 Billion, Up 2% versus Year Ago

Delivery and Pickup lose share to Ship-to-Home while the Mass format, led by Walmart, continues to outperform Supermarkets.

Barrington, Ill. – February 12, 2024 – The U.S. online grocery market finished January with total sales of $8.5 billion, up 1.8% compared to 2023, according to the most recent monthly Brick Meets Click/Mercatus Grocery Shopper Survey fielded January 30-31, 2024. Despite a jump in the total number of households buying groceries online during the month, January’s overall sales growth was moderated year-over-year by a downward trend in order frequency and a composite average order value (AOV) that was nearly flat compared to the prior year. Monthly results varied by the receiving method and format as Mass continued to expand share while Supermarkets contracted.

A screenBar chart comparing January 2023 versus January 2024 for Total U.S. online grocery sales in Billions, USD.  For January 2023, sales totaled $8.4 billion. Pickup captured $4.1, Delivery $3.0 and Ship-to-Home $1.3 billion. For January 2024, sales totaled $8.5 billion. Pickup captured $4.0, Delivery $3.0 and Ship-to-Home $1.5 billion.shot of a grocery sales report

Ship-to-Home was the only segment to grow year-over-year as sales climbed to $1.5 billion in January, up 7.8% compared to a year ago. Higher order volume, driven by a surge in monthly active users (MAUs) and a more than 7% increase in AOV, helped the segment capture 224 additional basis points (bps), to end the month with 17.4% of total eGrocery sales.     

January’s Delivery sales of $3.0 billion slipped slightly, down 0.5% versus 2023, as the 3% growth in its AOV could not offset the larger decline in order volume. While the Delivery MAU base expanded slightly, the gain was eclipsed by the decline in order frequency among MAUs. As a result, Delivery’s share of eGrocery sales slipped 82 bps to 35.3% for the month.

Pickup remained in the top spot, but its sales fell 1.9% to $4.0 billion for January mainly due to lower order frequency by MAUs and a 1.8% contraction in AOV, despite a moderate expansion of its MAU base. Pickup finished the month with 47.3% of eGrocery sales, down 142 bps versus January 2023.  

“When more than 10% of U.S. households have less money to spend on groceries this year than they did last year, changes in buying behavior are certainly expected,” said David Bishop, partner at Brick Meets Click. “The reduction in SNAP payments that took effect at the end of February 2023 is one of the factors driving the flight-to-value trend which we’ve observed and tracked since mid-2023.” 

The Mass format, led by Walmart, continued to outperform the broader market. In total, Mass expanded its MAU base by almost 10% while it also posted a healthy uptick in AOVs. And the growth in its MAU base more than compensated for flat year-over-year order frequency among its active customers.

In contrast, Supermarkets endured ongoing headwinds as key performance indicators (KPIs) all struggled versus last year. The number of Supermarket MAUs contracted by more than 5%, the average number of orders completed by MAUs during the month fell by a larger rate, and the average dollars spent per order pulled back slightly.      

Amazon’s pure-play online services, which account for the largest share of the Ship-to-Home segment, also saw improvements in performance compared to the prior year, but those improvements need to be put into context. Given the large MAU drop Amazon experienced in January 2023, this January’s MAU surge was driven partially by easier comparable results. Overall, Amazon’s year-over-year MAU gains more than offset the drop in order frequency, and moderate AOV gains also helped drive its positive sales results.

Cross-shopping between Mass and Grocery (which includes Supermarket and Hard Discount) decreased slightly in January versus the prior year. Although Walmart’s rate climbed over 300 bps versus a year ago, the overall dip resulted from a decline in cross-shopping among other Mass retailers. Last month more than 29% of households that bought groceries online from Grocery also purchased groceries online using a Mass retailer’s shopping service. Overall, cross-shopping rates between Grocery and Mass remain nearly twice as high as before the onset of the pandemic. 

The composite repeat intent rate for Pickup and Delivery in January jumped 430 bps versus 2023 to 63.8%, suggesting that more MAUs are likely to use the same service again within the next 30 days. Mass expanded its edge over Grocery by 30 bps on this metric as the format drove stronger customer scores with both Delivery and Pickup.

"Competing online is only getting more challenging for regional grocers as customer expectations continue to increase," said Mark Fairhurst, Global Chief Growth Officer at Mercatus. "So, beyond improving key elements of the experience, like fill rates, wait times, and product quality, regional grocers also need to work even harder to identify additional ways to help their customers save money."

Online sales across all formats accounted for 13.4% of total weekly grocery spending during the last week of January, increasing 120 bps versus last year. The combined contribution of Pickup and Delivery, since most conventional supermarkets do not offer Ship-to-Home, also grew 72 bps to finish the month at 11.1%.

For more information about January 2024 results, check out the Brick Meets Click eGrocery Dashboard or visit the Monthly State of the eGrocery Market  report page for information about subscribing to the full monthly report.

About this consumer research
The Brick Meets Click/Mercatus Grocery Shopping Survey is an ongoing independent research initiative created and conducted by the team at Brick Meets Click and sponsored by Mercatus. 

Brick Meets Click conducted the most recent survey on January 30-31, 2024, with 1,745 adults, 18 years and older, who participated in the household’s grocery shopping and a similar survey in January 2023, with a sample of 1,735. Results are adjusted based on internet usage among U.S. adults to account for the non-response bias associated with online surveys. Responses are geographically representative of the U.S. and weighted by age to reflect the national population of adults, 18 years and older, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

The three receiving methods for online grocery orders are defined as follows:

  • Delivery includes orders received from a first- or third-party provider like Instacart, Shipt or the retailer's own employees.
  • Pickup includes orders that are received by customers either inside or outside a store or at a designated location/locker.
  • Ship-to-Home includes orders that are received via common or contract carriers like FedEx, UPS, USPS, etc.

About Brick Meets Click
Brick Meets Click is an analytics and strategic insight firm that connects today's grocery business with tomorrow's needs. Our clear thinking and practical solutions help clients make their strategies and customer offers more compelling and relevant in the changing U.S. grocery market. We bring deep industry expertise and fact-based analysis to the challenge of finding new routes to success. 

About Mercatus 

Mercatus helps leading grocers get back in charge of their eCommerce experience, empowering them to deliver exceptional retailer-branded, end-to-end online shopping, from store to door. Our expansive network of more than 60 integration partners allows grocers to work with their partners of choice, on their terms. Together, we enable clients to create authentic digital shopping experiences with solutions to drive shopper engagement, grow share of wallet and achieve profitability, while quickly adapting to changes in consumer behavior.