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The monthly Brick Meets Click/Mercatus Grocery Shopping Survey is out, saying that "total U.S. online grocery sales in September declined 3% year over year to $7.8 billion … However, the ongoing research initiative reported that third quarter online grocery sales for 2022 gained nearly 4% to $24.1 billion compared to 2021."

Q3 gains, the survey suggests, were "driven by significant gains in Delivery and to a lesser degree Pickup."

Findings include:

•  "Pickup, the largest segment of eGrocery sales, had a mixed third quarter with total sales up 1% despite a 6% drop in September sales versus the prior year. The growth in quarterly sales was the result of shifts in its user base and order frequency being offset by ongoing growth in spending each month."

•  "Delivery had a strong third quarter and continued to benefit from a range of new service options from national players and new third-party providers that helped fuel a 20% lift in sales for the quarter versus the prior year. Each month’s total sales growth, however, slowed sequentially through the quarter with September finishing 12% up from a year ago."

And, there is this nugget:

"The rate of cross-shopping between Grocery and Mass increased during both the most recent month and quarter by more than 2 and 3 percentage points respectively versus prior periods in 2021. For September, the share of households that used both a Grocery and Mass service during the month was 28% while for the quarter the share finished at 29%.

"The degree of cross-shopping is a key metric for grocers to monitor because while the overall repeat intent rate has climbed, so has the performance gap between Mass and Grocery. The likelihood that an online grocery customer will use the same service again within the next 30 days gained 3 percentage points to 63% for the quarter. More importantly, the specific repeat intent rate among Mass customers for September 2022 was 10 percentage points higher compared to Grocery customers, and this gap has grown by nearly 7 points since a year ago."

KC's View:

I think the combination of a post-Covid rebound for in-person shopping, driven by a desire to get out of the house, with economic pressures created by inflation and a possible.likely recession, will mean that e-grocery will evolve in fits and starts.  No such thing as a straight line.

For more on this, see our next story, positing that "The Great Post-Covid Online Shopping Bet Was a Costly Delusion"…