In recent weeks, online grocery shopping has accelerated that trend in the U.S., as shoppers have sought ways to avoid stores or at least limit visits. At the height of the pandemic, online grocery sales increased as much as fivefold to between 10 to 15 percent of total grocery sales, said Steve Caine, a retail expert and partner with Bain & Company.
As the crisis recedes, Caine said he expects online grocery sales to remain at a higher level of between 5 to 10 percent.
He said grocers and delivery services have seen a surge of app downloads and new signups, pushing customers beyond one of the big barriers to entry. Customers now have the familiarity to keep up the habit.
“I do think there will be a permanent shift in the adoption curve,” Caine said.