Consulting firm Brick Meets Click surveyed 1,600 adults this week and found that 31% of U.S. households have used online grocery delivery or pickup in the past month.

Research that Brick Meets Click conducted in August found that only 13% of households were shopping that way, according to a news release. With concerns around the new coronavirus COVID-19 causing increased demand for groceries, more people are looking for ways to get their staple items but limit their exposure to other people in crowded stores.

Twenty-six percent of the online grocery shoppers surveyed said they are using a specific service for the first time, and among shoppers 60 and older, the new user rate is 39%.

What remains to be seen is how many people continue to use online grocery pickup and delivery services after the coronavirus crisis has passed, especially since a great customer experience is far from guaranteed given the operational strains grocery retailers are under on all fronts given higher-than-usual demand.

“This is a reflection of current circumstances,” David Bishop, partner at Brick Meets Click, said in the release. “Some households are only using these online services temporarily until they feel comfortable shopping in stores again. Other households will continue shopping online for groceries but may choose to switch providers based on the quality of their experience.”

Forty-three percent of online grocery shoppers said they were extremely likely or very likely to continue using a specific grocery pickup or delivery service after coronavirus concern subsides.

Also, 30% of people who said they have not purchased groceries online in the past month said they were extremely likely or very likely to do so in the next three months if the crisis continues.

“The COVID-19 health crisis has clearly fueled a tremendous surge in demand in the very near term,” Bill Bishop, chief architect of Brick Meets Click, said in the release. “And, even though some households will not stick with online grocery pickup or delivery services post-crisis, others will shift to this method of shopping going forward for a host of reasons. This is an important shift for the industry, and we will continue to monitor the trends.”



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