Grocery Delivery vs. In-store Shopping

Grocery shopping is a necessary part of life for most people. Some like the in-store shopping experience – pushing a shopping cart, walking the aisles and choosing what to buy. Others try to avoid it at all costs. After shopping, there is payment, packing, loading into the car, driving home, unloading, unpacking and storing.

For many years, there was grocery catalogue shopping with home delivery, but online shopping makes this service widely available.

According to the Food and Marketing Institute, by 2025, online grocery sales will hit $100 billion. Estimated sales will be 20 percent of the grocery retail market. Today, it is around 2 to 4.3 percent of the online industry sales.

By the end of 2017, Amazon had 18 percent share of the online grocery market. According to One Click Retail, Amazon grocery sales will reach $200 million in the first quarter of 2018, a 50 percent YoY increase.

Recently, Amazon released their service for online shoppers. Amazon prime members got free 2-hour delivery of grocery from Whole Foods. It is now planning to offer the service for shoppers in Los Angeles, Atlanta, and San Francisco.

the in-store shopping experience.
The in-store shopping experience.

Other online services are trying hard to keep up shopper interest. Brooklyn grocery delivery tries to make the grocery shopping experience more rewarding for shoppers.

As these new services become more popular, physical stores have not yet lost out to online shopping.

Where most online services focus on the last-mile delivery logistics, they overlook the option of making the in-store shopping experience overwhelming.

According to some reports, Americans enjoy in-store shopping experience more than online shopping. The numbers show that around 65 percent of shoppers have no inclination towards online grocery shopping.

According to a survey in May 2018, only one-third of 2,200 Americans surveyed had tried online grocery shopping. The shoppers included 38 percent men, 37 percent Millennials, 39 percent youths, 36 percent urban dwellers, 38 percent middle-income shoppers, and 45 percent high-income shoppers.

Among the people who tried online grocery shopping, about 56 percent did it only a few times per year. About 16 percent had purchased packaged food online each week, out of which 23 percent were men and 28 percent were those aged between 45 to 54 years.

According to Michael Ramlet, co-founder Morning Consult, those who don’t prefer online grocery shopping like in-store shopping more against specifics like options, cost, and convenience. More middle-income shoppers prefer weekly online grocery shopping than affluent people.

Looking at the more affluent group, 59 percent do not like online grocery shopping, 21 percent have not yet indulged in the online shopping experience and 21 percent are waiting for better options.

The online home grocery delivery services such as Amazon, Kroger, Walmart, etc are trying to up their game. They don’t appear to be working on opportunities to enhance the in-store performance and attract more shoppers.

According to a study by, people spend more than $5,400 on impulse shopping annually and that includes shopping for grocery items (70 percent). They are more likely to be attracted to products in-store rather than online. Store owners know this, and have always taken opportunities to improve their sales.

Shruti Gupta is a writer and digital marketing consultant at She has a passion for technology, startups and other business topics. She lives and breathes digital marketing, and has contributed to a number of famous websites. Her aim is to spread her thought-provoking ideas to all generations.