New Survey Shows In-Store Pickup For Groceries Is On Its Way Out

The online shopping industry boomed when the coronavirus pandemic first settled upon the country. Shops offered various pick up solutions while many customers turned to delivery options so that they could be spared any contact with the heavily trafficked areas. 

However, almost two and a half years into the pandemic times and those trends seem to be reversing. At least, that's what is happening according to research conducted by the category growth design agency ChaseDesign. In the press release announcing the research, ChaseDesign claimed that the percentage of customers who picked up online orders at stores dropped from 45% to 32%. Similarly, the percentage of people who only use home delivery options decreased from 31% to 16%.

The most common complaint given by customers is that they don't trust the stores to pick the best products. Furthermore, ChaseDesign concluded, since the dangers of physically entering a store have lessened somewhat, people have begun to see online shopping as a convenience product for which they would pay extra, instead of as a necessity. However, COVID-19 has not diminished entirely, as President Biden's infection shows. Still, with the second factor of inflated food prices, people may want to save by conducting the shopping in doors themselves.

These results should be taken with a grain of salt, however, as other surveys have found that online orders are growing in popularity despite inflation.

Perhaps it's a plateau

In fairness, ChaseDesign has not stated that online shopping will disappear, but argues that it is simply settling into its part of the market. It enjoyed explosive growth, overshot the mark, and has now fallen slightly back.

In fact, the increased use of online shopping options may have had more to do with the pandemic than anything else. In 2019, Retail Customer Experience noted how 51% of people who used special retail apps consulted the app when they were in the brick and mortar store. The digital presence of stores is more like an extended window display, than a grocery aisle that stretches into the comforts of one's own home.

However, now that online pick up and delivery have become commonplace, they are unlikely to go away. So, ChaseDesigns, which caters to pick-up, took the time in their press release to have Joe Lampertius, the company's president, sketch some ideas for how companies can leverage their plateaued pick up shoppers: "If the retailers use that captive time average five to 10 minutes [which pick up cars have to wait] with some shopper engagement and improved impulse merchandising strategies, brands and retailers will be rewarded with a more loyal customer and incremental purchases." A plateaued business practice is still a present one even if it is no longer as popular. So we can expect to see such initiatives in the future.