Escalent Study Outlines Explosive Online Grocery Shopping Growth Amid COVID-19 Consumer Impact

May 21, 2020

Latest research identifies leaders, challenges, satisfaction and likelihood of long-term sustainability for remote ordering and delivery services

Escalent, a top human behavior and analytics firm, today introduced a new study on the explosive growth of online grocery shopping services as a result of the ongoing COVID-19 global health situation. Consumers Are Going Bananas for Online Groceries: But Is It a Long-Term Love? highlights changes in consumer behavior and explores the likelihood of long-term shifts to remote ordering and delivery services.

According to the study, the number of consumers taking their grocery shopping online grew more than 400% in March and April of 2020 compared to 2019. Additionally, growth has not only been rapid, but broad, as online grocery shopping usage has exploded at similar rates among male and female consumers from all age groups and locations.

“Consumers are demonstrating extraordinary flexibility during the COVID-19 crisis, particularly in a space that has faced unique barriers to transitioning to the online marketplace,” said Paul Hartley, managing director of the Consumer & Retail, Technology and Telecommunications teams at Escalent. “Traditional brick-and-mortar chains – local and national alike – have shown the most growth, as they have been able to leverage significant advantages over their less established competition.”

In addition to who is buying online, the study offers a clear picture of the leaders in the space, with Walmart and local grocery chains taking the lion’s share of online grocery shopping business and sentiment thanks to loyal customers and existing infrastructure. Amazon holds the top position as the primary “challenger,” with shoppers naming the online retail giant the service they are most likely to try. In order to increase and sustain the loyalty of their customers beyond the current health and economic crisis, online grocers need to accentuate the advantages of their service while mitigating some of the challenges – such as delivery – that their shoppers currently experience.

To learn about the likelihood of a long-term shift to online grocery shopping, and to review the full study, click here.

For more information, visit

About the Study

The white paper references data from a research study that Escalent conducted from April 22 to April 24, 2020 via an online survey with a national sample of 1,500 random US grocery shoppers who purchase groceries at least once a week. The data were weighted by age, gender and census region to match the demographics of the US population. The data have a margin of error of 2.5 percentage points at a confidence level of 95%. Escalent will supply the exact wording of any survey question upon request.

Keep me informed. I’d like to receive occasional newsletters, event notifications, and thought leadership materials.

Subscribe to Our Newsletter