Digital grocery is on a growth trajectory

Dan Berthiaume
Senior Editor, Technology
digital grocery
Consumers and retailers expect higher digital grocery sales.

Online grocery sales have been sharply accelerating, with increases expected into 2023.

According to a new year-end survey of 2,010 grocery shoppers and 203 grocery industry executives from Incisiv and Wynshop, overall grocery spending is expected to increase between 3-7% in 2023, as compared with 2022. This increase will include growth in online grocery spending, as 87% of consumer respondents expect to order through digital channels for at least some of their grocery needs.

In another sign that digital grocery sales are on a growth curve that will extend into the coming year, 81% of surveyed grocery executives said they must upgrade their technology tools and regard "budget, integration, and talent" as their top three challenges for 2023.

[Read more: Survey: Inventory poses challenge to digital grocers]

Incisiv’s Grocery Doppio insights platform also released its "State of Digital Grocery Performance Scorecard" for November 2022. Built around data analysis of 1.5 million shopper orders and survey results from more than 18,000 shoppers and 1,800 U.S. grocery executives, key findings from the newest scorecard include:

    • After declining in September 2022 and then rising 12.4% in October, digital grocery sales rose an impressive 24.6% month-over-month in November.
    • Digital's share of the grocery market reached 17.1% in November, exceeding its 14.9% share recorded in October.
    • Total digital grocery sales reached $14.7 billion in November.
    • Digital baskets averaged two items more in November than they did in October. Overall digital basket averaged 12.1% higher in November than in October.
    • Third-party transactions accounted for 19.7% of all digital grocery sales in November 2022, representing a slight dip of 1.2% from October and a total loss of more than 8% since Grocery Doppio began tracking third-party digital transactions in the second quarter of 2022.
    • Total digital in-store grocery pickup sales grew to $8 billion in November, an increase of $1.7 billion from October. This slightly increased in-store pickup's existing lead over delivery as a digital grocery fulfillment method, ending with a 54.3% share of all digital grocery orders, as compared to 53.7% the prior month.

"In the early days of digital grocery's boom, third-party providers and delivery were very popular with shoppers," said Gaurav Pant, chief insights officer of  Incisv and Grocery Doppio. "2022 saw a maturation of both grocers' ability to sell to their existing shoppers digitally and shoppers' understanding of what really works for them. I think we will see grocers continue to assume more ownership over digital channels as they grow further in 2023."

"Demands on grocers' technology and talent will increase in 2023 as the global labor shortage continues and digital channels grow further," said Charlie Kaplan, chief strategy officer of Wynshop. "The key to outperforming the competition is to have flexible, powerful tools which integrate easily and do not require additional skilled workers to operate."

Click here to download the full November 2022 State of Digital Grocery Performance Scorecard.

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