Half of US households now buy groceries online

10 nov 2021

Erik Wallin

The latest Brick Meets Click survey reveals that 64.1 million US households bought groceries online in September 2021. That equates to every other household in the country - a 16% increase since August 2020.

The new normal

"Online grocery shopping is here to stay," observes Northfork Co-founder Erik Wallin. "Many families trialled it for the first time during the pandemic and were delighted with the experience. It is the new normal. Now, retailers need to keep evolving that experience."

For retailers, online grocery shopping is a double-edged sword. On the one hand, it enables them to expand their customer base and engage with shoppers in new ways. On the other, margins are notoriously low.

Technology to the rescue

Thankfully, technology can help. Northfork's research found, for example, that Coop in Sweden saw its average cart value rise by 4.8% when customers shopped by recipe (versus the average non-recipe cart value).

Recipe shopping benefits retailers by raising cart values and making shopping faster and easier. This drives up customer engagement and loyalty. With Northfork's menu wizard in place, 54% of shoppers in one study completed their weekly menu planning in under five minutes. 33% completed it in under three minutes. Happy customers = happy retailers.

New discoveries

The fact that recipe shopping technology enables third-party publishers to connect their content with retailers is also important here.

The partnership between Northfork, BuzzFeed and Walmart demonstrates this. As a result of the collaboration, those using BuzzFeed's food inspiration platform, Tasty, can shop easily by recipe at Walmart. Happy customers = happy publishers = happy retailers.

"When it comes to using technology to create win-wins for shoppers, retailers and publishers, there is huge potential," concludes Northfork's Erik Wallin. "There is much that can be done when it comes to evolving online grocery shopping, when you have the right technology, the right partnerships and the right mindset."