New Data Reveals Unexpected Truth About Online Grocery Shopping

Online grocery shopping is a convenient way to cross an item off your chore checklist without having to spend time shopping around the store, waiting in line to check out, and getting everything in and out of the car. Grocery stores offer curbside pickup, and some even offer home delivery, for a fee.

The popularity of online grocery shopping has grown in recent years, per Supermarket News, with many people finding it more convenient to pay someone else to do their shopping for them. In fact, the United States Census Bureau reports that e-commerce sales increased by 43% from 2019 to 2020 due to the pandemic. Services like Instacart and Amazon Fresh have made it easy for people to switch to grocery shopping online — or hybrid shop, and regularly do a mix of both online and in-person shopping.

Although people aren't stuck at home and forced to use grocery delivery services, many still opt to shop online. Since there are typically fees added on for home delivery, and sometimes curbside pickup, it would seem logical that the people who opt for this grocery shopping method have some extra income to spare. However, this survey reveals just the opposite.

Online shopping is easier for families

Business Wire survey utilized the Consumer Trends Tracker in May of this year to survey "over 2,000 consumers online, representative of the U.S. grocery shopper nationwide." The tracker was created "to uncover shoppers' needs, perceptions and behaviors over time," per Business Wire. The survey reports that 60% of the surveyed households with children are doing at least some of their grocery shopping online. They reportedly earned more than those who shop in-store only, but struggle more financially — even skipping meals to save some cash. Whether they are doing all online shopping, or a hybrid of both, they likely appreciate the convenience of having the option.

In a study done by Urban Institute, they found that 38% of families with children living at home were struggling financially, and 24% were spending more than their income each year. They also reported that families with children typically bring in lower incomes than those without, and families with two or more children can expect to spend at least half their yearly income on child-related expenses.

Although it may cost a little more to have someone do your grocery shopping for you, it may be worth the extra cash if it means a little more time is able spent with your family at Saturday morning soccer practice.