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Is eCommerce Popularity Here to Stay: Examining eCommerce Grocery Trends during COVID-19

The coronavirus pandemic has propelled the growth of eCommerce grocery shopping to unimagined heights before the pandemic. But the question remains: is this trend here to stay? Using Quotient’s eCommerce data, we looked into trends throughout the pandemic and examined platform utilization, behaviors of new shoppers and coupon usage by shoppers. The results shed light on the future of eCommerce and why retailers and brands should continue to invest in it.

Average Weekly eCommerce Sales Grew By 124% During COVID

Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, shoppers have limited their visits to grocery stores and eCommerce grocery sales have skyrocketed. Blake Burrus, SVP of Data & Analytics at Quotient, commented, “We continue to see extremely strong eCommerce spend and expect that to extend into 2021.” Compared to pre-COVID, average weekly eCommerce sales grew by 124%.1 This growth is driven by the number of shoppers using eCommerce, especially new eCommerce shoppers who have not used the platform before. On average, the number of new shoppers signing up per week is 297% higher than the number signing up pre-COVID.2

Young woman shopping fresh food online using a digital tablet, while sitting on the floor at home. Concept of buying online using eCommerce
Since the start of COVID-19, average weekly eCommerce orders have grown 124%.

Adopters of eCommerce During COVID Placed 7+ Online Grocery Orders

We wanted to know whether the large number of shoppers who signed up for eCommerce during COVID continued to use the platform as time passed, thus indicating a lasting shift in consumer behavior.

Of the shoppers who signed up and purchased eCommerce groceries at the beginning of the pandemic (March & April), 40% continued to shop using eCommerce in the following months. On average, these repeat shoppers placed 7+ orders from May–September. This is 2.5x more purchases than shoppers who signed up in the same period of last year (March & April 2019).3 These results demonstrate that eCommerce is gaining momentum and here to stay.

“The influx of new shoppers onto eCommerce platforms during COVID are sticking around. Retention and repeat usage are incredibly strong.”

Blake Burrus, Quotient SVP of Data & Analytics

25% of eCommerce Purchases Include a Digital Coupon

When grocery shoppers use eCommerce platforms, they are seeking the convenience of ordering online but also may be looking to save where they can. Our most recent data shows that 25% of eCommerce purchases are accompanied by a digital coupon.4 Burrus elaborates, “Digital coupons within eCommerce is a natural fit. Consumers are starting to expect to find value in their channel of choice.”

By integrating digital coupons on an eCommerce platform, retailers can provide the cost savings that shoppers are seeking. By offering these promotions, brands can gain customers and drive sales for their products while consumers gain the convenience and ease associated with eCommerce ordering.

Quotient data shows that 25% of eCommerce purchases are accompanied by a digital coupon.

Investing in eCommerce

This rapid and continued growth of eCommerce indicates that this is an important time for retailers to offer value through their eCommerce solutions, creating seamless online grocery shopping experiences for their consumers.

By focusing on this technology, retailers and brands can capture both consumer dollars and loyalty through solutions like sponsored search—which increases brands’ presence on the digital shelf in front of the right target audience. Brands can use this moment to double down on advertising and digital coupons on eCommerce platforms to ensure that their products are accessible to the growing number of consumers using eCommerce.

eCommerce is here to stay and should be part of any omnichannel advertising campaign. It is an opportunity to reach consumers as they shop and promote your products. Interested in sponsored search and digital promotions? Reach out to [email protected] today to discuss opportunities in this rapidly growing space.

  1. Quotient Internal Reporting (March–October 2020 vs January 2020)
  2. Quotient Internal Reporting (March–October 2020 vs January 2020)
  3. Quotient Internal Reporting (March–September 2020 vs March–September 2019
  4. Quotient Internal Data (September 2020)