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The Next Five Years in Online Grocery: Going Mainstream, Fast

Amid the pandemic, adoption has accelerated by two to five years in the US and Western Europe, according to new Bain research.

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The Next Five Years in Online Grocery: Going Mainstream, Fast

Demand for online grocery has surged during the pandemic, outstripping the delivery and in-store collection capacity of many grocers. But what of the next five years? We modeled three 2020–25 scenarios around variables such as how quickly a cure or vaccine is found and the quality of the customer experience. In all three scenarios, penetration is poised for a marked acceleration. This poses a challenge to the industry. Online grocery is usually less profitable than in-store transactions. To avoid damaging dilution, executive teams need to act now to improve the economics of the channel.

Related Brief

How to Ramp Up Online Grocery—without Breaking the Bank

Now that Covid-19 has accelerated demand for deliveries and pickups, grocers urgently need e-commerce to start paying its way.


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