BARRINGTON, ILL. – Online grocery sales fell in January compared to the year before, and pickup’s share of online is growing.

Those are among the findings in the latest Brick Meets Click/Mercatus Grocery Shopping Survey. 

Online generated $8.5 billion in sales and accounted for nearly 12% of total grocery spending during January. Total January sales were down 8% versus the prior year. 

Only pickup made sales gains, growing almost 2% to $4 billion. Delivery contracted 7% to $3 billion and Ship-to-Home sales plummeted 30% to $1.5 billion, driving nearly two-thirds of the total YOY sales decline. 

“These sales results show that circumstances connected to COVID continue to disrupt the way people shop, but in different ways than earlier in the pandemic,” said David Bishop, partner at Brick Meets Click. “Increases in COVID case rates no longer have the same effect on buying patterns due in part to progress with vaccinations. The loss of financial assistance is another factor since the economic impact payments and child tax credits that many households received in 2021 have ceased. And, if that’s not enough, many retailers altered store operations in January to address the labor shortages associated with COVID-related absences and a tighter labor market.”

In terms of market share for January 2022 versus year ago, pickup’s share of online grocery sales grew nearly five percentage points to 47% due to gains in its monthly active user (MAU) base and order frequency, and delivery’s share grew just under one point to 35% due to increases in order frequency and spending per transaction. 

Ship-to-home’s share of online sales fell over five points from January 2021 to 18%, setting a record low that is more than 20 points lower than pre-COVID levels.

The number of US households that bought groceries online during the month remained relatively steady at 69 million, dipping just 1% versus last year.