One of the most important reasons shoppers choose not to use a grocery delivery service is that they want to pay no more than necessary, which was tied with wanting to select their own produce according to new shopper behaviour research from Mercatus, fielded June 30 through July 1, 2022. Specifically, customers’ desire to pay no more than necessary was directed squarely at delivery’s additional service-related costs, not the prices paid for the products online. The research also found that when given the choice, customers are much more likely to select a time slot later the same day, or even the next day, if that meant they could pay a lower delivery fee.
The new shopper behaviour research from Mercatus documented that one in five U.S. households used an online grocery delivery service during the prior month. Among those households that chose not to use a grocery delivery service, the top two reasons tied at 62 per cent respectively between “I like to select my own fruits and vegetables” and “I do not want to pay for the extra charges, fees, and tips.” The oldest customer group (>60) was significantly more concerned with picking their own produce versus younger shoppers (75 per cent vs. 53 per cent), while the desire to avoid paying the service-related costs was the same across all age cohorts.
Only one in seven households (14 per cent) cited “the products are more expensive online than in the store” as a reason for not using a delivery service.
Today most customers only need to choose when they’d like to receive their order as the delivery fee at that point is usually fixed but the research found there is an opportunity for grocers to challenge that practice and consider a variable fee approach based on when a customer would like to receive the order.
When presented with a fixed fee of $9.95 for a large order (>$100), over 30 per cent of customers selected to receive their order within 30 to 60 minutes, and more than 40 per cent of customers selected to receive it within 1 to 3 hours; fewer than 10 per cent opted for the next day or later.
When offered a variable fee that scaled down as the time to delivery was extended, the share of shoppers that selected delivery within the 30-to-60 minute and 1-to-3-hour windows declined by more than half, and over 40 per cent of customers selected to receive the order next day or longer.
About the research
The custom shopper research from Mercatus was conducted by Brick Meets Click via an online survey on June 30 through July 1, 2022, with 1,847 U.S. adults, 18 years and older, who participated in the household’s grocery shopping. The sample was weighted to match current population measures related to age and Census region based on the 2020 American Community Survey from the U.S. Census Bureau. The margin of error for the top-line results was +/- 2.6% at the 95 per cent confidence level.