Study: H-E-B, Chipotle are top grocery, QSR chains in e-commerce experience

Marianne Wilson
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Two regional grocery chains earn high marks fulfilling online orders through pickup. 

H-E-B came out on top in the grocery store category in Ipsos’ latest E-Commerce Experience Report, which looked at how grocery stores and quick-service restaurants (QSRs) have altered their customer service and which brands come out on top.

H-E-B led all grocery stores largely due to in-stock availability, ability to schedule pickup times, and good instructions on order pickup.  The report noted that perfect accuracy, no fees or minimums and excellent communication help H-E-B lead the category. 

Publix came in a close second due to its ease of ordering and superb communication. Publix also excels in order accuracy and contactless handoffs. Aldi was third, with good in-stock availability and flexibility in time of pickup, as well as very high order accuracy and overall satisfaction.

Among the 12 quick-serve brand studied, Chipotle came out on top. Chipotle does better than other F&B brands in terms of having easy-to-find pickup locations, and nearly all Chipotle pickups were in-store, according to the report. In another plus, Chipotle’s ordering process is simple and easy to use.

Panda Express ranks second in the category. As with other brands, the ordering process is easy and Panda’s pickups were split between in-store and drive-through. Subway, which ranked third, has an ordering process that, similar to Chipotle, is simple and easy to use, the report found. Subway shoppers pickup using a combination of in-store and curbside; in-store pickup is very good, but curbside lost points for lack of guidance and parking.

The report showed that 78% of Americans have increased their use of in-store and curbside pickup options since the start of the pandemic in 2020. Even as the pandemic subsides, 69% of those surveyed said they expect to continue using e-commerce options at the same levels, if not higher.

“As we continue to see the adoption and usage of digital offerings rise, it is critical for brands to ensure a seamless and safe end-to-end e-commerce experience to keep customers coming back,” said Carlos Aragon, VP of Ipsos channel performance. “Knowing which brands are leading the pack – and more importantly, why – is critical to succeeding in the e-commerce economy.”