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How Grocers Plan to Drive Digital Growth in 2023

Report reveals most popular investments will be focused on fulfillment efficiencies
Marian Zboraj, Progressive Grocer
Digital Grocery
Digital basket size grew in October, averaging one item more than it did in September.

Available on the recently launched Grocery Doppio website, Incisiv and Wynshop have revealed the findings from their "State of Digital Grocery Performance Scorecard: October 2022" report, as well as from grocers' 2023 digital outlook.

Grocery Doppio's monthly scorecards are built around data analysis of 1.5 million shopper orders and survey results from more than 18,000 shoppers and 1,800 U.S. grocery executives.

[Read more: "Engaging the Digital Shopper"]

For its October Scorecard, Grocery Doppio asked grocers additional questions about their plans for digital growth in 2023. Some of the results include:

  • Spending on digital will increase by 2.3% even though overall technology budgets will shrink about 1% next year.
  • Artificial-intelligence (AI) decision capabilities (18%) are the new technology solutions that grocers plan to test and deploy the most in 2023, followed by robotics for fulfillment (15%).
  • The three most popular investments will be fulfillment efficiencies (77%), followed by digital basket-size nurturing (67%) and system-wide inventory data accuracy/transparency (55%).

"Fulfillment efficiency is clearly a priority for grocery leaders in 2023," said Gaurav Pant, chief insights officer of New York-based Incisiv and Grocery Doppio. "The ability to accurately portray available inventory and get orders quickly and efficiently into the hands of shoppers will be a key competitive differentiator in the coming year."

In regard to digital's performance in October, the latest Scorecard found:

  • Digital's share of overall grocery market bounced back.
    • After declining in September, digital grocery sales reached $11.8 billion dollars in October, a 12.4% leap since September.
    • Digital's share of the overall grocery market was 14.9% in October, the highest share of the total grocery market that digital has controlled since January 2022, when it reached 15.2%
  • Digital basket size grew in October.
    • Digital baskets averaged one item more in October than they did in September.
    • Overall basket size grew as well, averaging 4.5% higher than in September.
    • At $79.90 in October, average digital basket size continues to dwarf average store basket size, which itself saw modest growth to $49.70 in October.

The report also found that the share of grocery pickup sales continues to increase, as total pickup sales grew to $6.3 billion in October, an increase of $0.8 billion over September. The growth extended pickup's lead over delivery as a fulfillment method, giving it a 53.7% share of all digital grocery orders, compared with just 46.3% for delivery.

Meanwhile, third-party provider sales dipped yet again. Digital grocery sales through third-party providers grew by just $0.1 billion from September to October. This resulted in third parties' share of digital declining nearly 2%, from 22.7% in September to 20.9% in October. Third parties' share of market has now lost nearly 7% since Grocery Doppio began tracking it in Q2 2022.

"The data shows with great clarity the shift in grocers' strategies since the pandemic began," noted Charlie Kaplan, chief strategy officer of Miami-based Wynshop. "It is no longer only the largest players leaning into digital. Local and regional grocers have upped their game to compete effectively with third-party providers, and now more grocery shoppers prefer to buy direct."

To download the "State of Digital Grocery Performance Scorecard: October, 2022," click hereGrocery Doppio is a free, independent source of grocery insights and data from Incisiv and Wynshop that's designed specifically to help grocers and food executives jump-start, accelerate and sustain digital growth.

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