Latest Gallup Research Affirms Uptick in Online Buying

New consumption habits survey underscores the importance of shopping options
Lynn Petrak
Senior Editor
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Latest Gallup Research Affirms Uptick in Online Buying
Gallup survey shows a near-doubling of online grocery shopping since 2019.

Market research firm Gallup is out with its most recent consumer survey, which found that virtual is indeed reality for a good part of the American public. According to Gallup’s poll for the time period of July 6-21, more consumers are ordering foods and meals online.

The latest consumption habits survey from Gallup shows that nearly a quarter (23%) of people order groceries online, nearly double the 11% share from the pre-pandemic (i.e. normal) year of 2019. The demographic most likely to buy online: those married with children younger than 18 (37%), have annual household incomes of at least $100,000 (29%) or are younger than 55 (27%).

An overall shift in behaviors is reflected in other findings. Gallup’s survey found that the number of multiple grocery store visits per week dropped six percentage points since 2019 while the rate of in-person shopping once or twice per month has climbed four percentage points, underscoring the shift to buying more food on fewer shopping trips. At the same time, the percentage of Americans who say they dine in restaurants at least once a month dipped from 87% in 2019 to 74% this summer, with consumers confirming that they are ordering more restaurant takeout during the ongoing pandemic marked by new surges in the Delta variant.

Although the gains in online shopping are real and there is clear demand for shopping via click, 64% of U.S. adults say they never buy online, and more people order online once or twice a month (11%) than once or more per week (3%).

The upshot: the COVID-19 situation continues to influence the shopping and dining habits of U.S. consumers, who embrace options for ordering and eating within the walls of their own homes.

As the Gallup researchers concluded: “The online grocery industry has profited meaningfully as Americans have increasingly used online grocery services. What happens after the pandemic is over remains to be seen; however, online retailers are certainly hoping Americans stick with online grocery shopping now that they have experienced its benefits and have been using it on a more regular basis during the extended pandemic.”

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