In the US, grocery pickup sales grew to $4 billion in January 2022, up from $3.9 billion the year before, whereas first and third-party delivery fell from $3.2 to $3 billion, according (pdf) to a survey from Brick Meets Click, a grocery research firm and Mercatus, an online grocery software company. In January, online grocery sales in the US reached $8.5 billion and accounted for nearly 12% of the country’s total grocery spend.
Curbside is more widespread than delivery. The latter is better suited for large, dense metro areas, than for many rural or suburban areas where customers are more spread out, and where driving and parking are far more convenient than in a city setting. Grocery curbside pickup is also cheaper for both retailers and shoppers, since both can avoid dealing with the extra costs of delivery. For a business like Starbucks, curbside offers another way to get orders to customers without added infrastructure like a drive through window. And, curbside pickup gives shoppers more control: It’s not ideal for groceries to be sitting outside at home for an extended period of time and finding the right delivery window can be a hassle.
Grocery pickup is likely to remain more popular than delivery as the pandemic subsides, according to analysts. Curbside has quickly become a necessary convenience for people with limited mobility or immune system concerns, like elderly and disabled folks, and for those with tight schedules, like parents, who can make a quick grocery stop after picking up kids from school, said Marshal Cohen, chief retail advisor at NPD, a consumer market research firm.
I like that this article points out an important distinction when comparing curbside pickup vs delivery and the is the advantages to the customer based on location. I agree that curbisde is more convinient for rural and suburban areas and would not work in large metropolitan ones. Another argument for curbisde that was pointed out were the reduced fees or lack thereof when doing curbside pickup at most retailers. This can be a huge deterence for some people who may find the fees for delivery unworthy. I think both will contunue to grow however with I agree that curbisde pickup is here to stay.
Cheng, Michelle. “Why Grocery Curbside Pickup Will Outlast Delivery.” Quartz, Quartz, 25 Feb. 2022, https://qz.com/2132628/why-grocery-curbside-pickup-will-outlast-delivery/.