BARRINGTON, ILL. – Total online grocery sales finished the month of May at $7.1 billion, 1.7% higher versus a year ago, as inflation is motivating many customers to adapt where and how they shop online for groceries, according to the latest Brick Meets Click/Mercatus Grocery Shopping Survey.

Pickup captured 45% of eGrocery sales during the month, rising 9% versus last year, driven largely by more than 10% growth in its monthly active user (MAU) base. A mid-single digit gain in its average order value (AOV) was offset by a nominal drop in order frequency. 

Delivery, with a dollar share of 36%, climbed 5% versus the prior year, experiencing more modest gains in MAUs and AOV compared to those of Pickup and a decrease in order frequency of approximately 5%. 

Ship-to-Home represented 19% of eGrocery sales in May and dropped 16% versus the prior year; a more than 10% pullback in AOV and similar rate of decline in order frequency was countered by an over 9% gain in its MAU base.

Beneath the top-line results, it’s evident that as price inflation erodes purchasing power customers are increasingly focused on finding ways to pay no more than necessary when shopping online, according to Brick Meets Click. 

For Mass and Grocery customers using either Pickup or Delivery, the percentage who cited costs as the most important selection criteria rose 6 points, from 37% in August 2020, when customers first responded to this question, to 43% in May 2022. What’s notable is that the share of Mass customers who cited costs as the top consideration remained relatively unchanged over this period, while the share of Grocery customers that cited costs as their top consideration jumped more than 10 percentage points.

“Less than one-quarter of online grocery customers who shop with Grocery or Mass online use both Pickup and Delivery services, so the increased cost consideration within this group may actually drive more demand toward Pickup,” said David Bishop, partner at Brick Meets Click.  “Interestingly, for Grocery customers, the importance of ‘getting the products you want’ has dropped from the top consideration to the bottom when ranked against the elements of cost and convenience, and this holds true for both Pickup and Delivery services.”