99% of consumers still buy groceries in person

Grocery Market
Only 1% of consumers buy all of their groceries online.

Although many retailers are experimenting with digital forms of grocery shopping, it seems most consumers are still buying some or all of their groceries at a brick-and-mortar location. Only 1% of consumers solely buy groceries online. 

Grocery shopping still holds the lure of immediacy, according to 71% of adults surveyed by the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC). Another 70% of consumers said that they visit a physical store in order to select fresh meat, dairy and produce, and 69% want to be able to scan product options in person. 

“The grocery sector remains relatively unimpacted by the growth in e-commerce sales,” said Tom McGee, president and CEO of ICSC. “Consumers are heavily invested in the types of food they purchase and they want to be able to select the best and the freshest to take home.”

The breakdown of millennial shopping habits are a bit different, as 5.9%—slightly above the average—shop at different types of stores for groceries. And 23% of the demographic shop three or more times a week for groceries. This includes 74% shopping at convenience stores for groceries, 67% at Amazon or other pure-online retailers and 66% at high-end supermarkets. 

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Of the millennials that shop online, 81% choose the pick-up-in-store option. This number is not surprising as nearly three out of four of all online grocery purchases end with in-store pickup. 

About 44% of grocery purchases are delivered to a shopper's home and 36% are shipped by mail or courier service to a home. Most grocery deliveries, 54%, originate from a high-end grocer.

But it seems that shoppers are not too loyal when it comes to picking grocery retailers. Consumers, on average, visit 5.4 different types of grocery stores, with 92% visiting discount retailers and 92% shopping at traditional supermarkets. 

These traditional supermarkets have the most frequent visitors, 55%, that make a purchase at least once a week. Specialty and gourmet food stores are visited most infrequently, every few months by 76% of shoppers, along with high-end supermarkets, visited by 65% of shoppers every few months. 

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