Oracle Online Virtual Shopping Survey [shutterstock: 520843114,]
[shutterstock: 520843114,]
E-Commerce Press Release

Grocery Shoppers Opting For Virtual Carts During Pandemic

A new Oracle study suggests that more than half of those surveyed buy groceries online regularly, but panic purchasing is easing.

A Oracle Grocery Retail survey shows that 53 percent of respondents in the U.S. have shopped online for groceries during the pandemic, with 37 percent stocking up more frequently online than in-store. Some people plan to reverse course, but 93 percent of those surveyed said they plan to shop online for groceries post-pandemic, with 74 percent noting they will order groceries the same amount or more as they are doing currently.

The Untold Insights survey, conducted on behalf of Oracle Retail, polled 521 consumers in the United States in September 2020 about their COVID-19 shopping habits.

Key findings

Some of the key findings of the Oracle survey are listed below.

  • Door-side delivery. When it comes to online grocery ordering, the vast majority of consumers opt for home delivery: 72 percent have groceries delivered to their home, 13 percent pick them up inside the store, and 15 percent collect their groceries curbside.
  • Loyalties are being tested. With grocery shortages during the pandemic, 86 percent of shoppers explored store-owned brands and private label alternatives, with some having no plans of returning to their old favorites. 32 percent intend to stick with the store brands, 34 percent will shop a mix of new finds and preferred brands, and 20 percent will go back to preferred brands.
  • Grandparents try online ordering. A significant percentage of all age groups surveyed have ordered groceries online during the pandemic, with Generation X (40-54) leading the way with 72 percent. Gen Z (18-24) follows with 61 percent, only slightly more than Millenials (25-39) with 60 percent. Although Boomers (55+) represented the lowest total overall with 30 percent, this age group saw a 173 percent increase in those who had ordered groceries during COVID-19 versus before the pandemic. Moreover, 83 percent of this demographic plan to continue ordering groceries online.
  • Stockpiling has eased. Despite COVID-19 winter warnings, shoppers are worrying less about shortages of essential items. Just 28 percent of those polled are planning to stockpile household essentials and pantry staples, including toilet paper, cleaning products, canned fruits and vegetables, and pasta.
  • Interest in food subscription boxes grew. With more shoppers eating at home and looking for inspiration, meal subscriptions increased. 22 percent already had a food or meal subscription they continued, 10 percent already enjoyed one food or meal subscription service and added another, and 4 percent started a new food or meal subscription for the first time.


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