Click & Collect Grocery Sees Robust Growth

CHICAGO — Click-and-collect programs are growing in popularity across the grocery industry, leading more grocers to consider putting a program in place for their customers’ convenience. 

Convenience Store News sister publication Progressive Grocer’s 84th Annual Report of the Grocery Industry found that 23 percent of respondents currently have a click-and-collect program in place, compared to just 15 percent of respondents last year.

This year's survey also showed that 71 percent of grocers have started working on fully integrated omnichannel programs — which include click-and-collect — or have a strategy to join the 12 percent of grocers that already have full-fledged programs.

While click-and-collect has notably taken off at national chains like Walmart and Kroger, it's also emerging at regional chains like Meijer, and even at independent grocers.

One of the draws for grocers to launch these programs is that young families and affluent couples are "especially ready" to adapt to the online shopping trend, according to a March 2016 report from the Grocery Manufacturers Association and The Boston Consulting Group. Furthermore, this demographic is likely to spend more across all channels when making purchases online than when visiting stores' brick-and-mortar locations — the uplift ranges from 30 percent to 50 percent.

Another encouraging factor for grocers considering click-and-collect programs is their popularity in the United Kingdom and France. When taking into consideration geography, consumer shopping patterns and automotive mobility, there's reason to believe that click-and-collect will become even more popular in the United States, according to the Progressive Grocer annual report.  

The practice of grocers outsourcing grocery delivery to third-party companies like Instacart and Shipt is likewise gaining steam. While just 8 percent of respondents were taking advantage of such companies last year, 17 percent of respondents are using third-party delivery companies this year. 

Click here for more of the Annual Report findings.