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The monthly Brick Meets Click/Mercatus Grocery Shopping Survey indicates that "the U.S. online grocery market finished January with $8.4 billion in total sales, down 1.2% compared to last year … The drop in total online grocery sales was entirely driven by Ship-to-Home sales, which declined 15% to $1.3 billion. Pickup posted the strongest gains, increasing almost 3% on a year-over-year basis to 4.1 billion, while Delivery grew less than 1%, holding steady around $3.0 billion."

Collectively, the survey says, "the three segments captured just over 12% of total grocery spending in the month, slightly higher than a year ago and likely buoyed by strong overall grocery spending by U.S. households. Excluding Ship-to-Home, the share of spending attributed to Pickup and Delivery was more than 10%."

And, the study says, "The total overall eGrocery user base for January dropped 1.6% versus last year. Pickup was the only receiving method that expanded its respective monthly active user (MAU) base during January, although it was up only by 1%. In contrast, the MAU base for Delivery dipped 2%, and Ship-to-Home plummeted 10% compared to the prior year. 

"The pullback in total MAUs was driven mostly by the largest user group (30–44-year-olds) which shrank 5% from the prior year, but a 4% decline in the 60-and-over age group also contributed. 

For January, the study concluded, "the likelihood that a customer will use the same service within the next 30 days dipped approximately two percentage points versus last year to 60%. The decline in repeat intent was largely driven by the more frequent customers, which is a troubling sign because they spend considerably more per order than the customer segments who buy less often.

“This large gap in repeat intent is concerning and should raise a red flag for conventional grocers,” said David Bishop, a partner in Brick Meets Click. “While our monthly research didn’t examine the causes for the variations between Grocery and Mass, it could be associated with a number of variables, including product pricing, service-related costs, or differences in customer experience, so grocers may want to analyze what are the main culprits driving their respective rates lower.”