Digital Groceries Dominate E-Commerce, Walmart Comes Out Ahead

In 2021, a new Adobe report said that the total e-commerce market had been dominated by one product: groceries. And the company clearly dominating the digital grocery market is Walmart.

Consumers have spent $1.7 trillion online since the pandemic began in March 2020, and the digital grocery market has played a considerable part in this e-commerce surge. America’s e-grocery market share is 9.5%, with almost 20% of orders placed through Instacart, according to Statista. In 2020, more than $73 billion was spent on groceries ordered online, and in 2022, that number is expected to skyrocket to $85 billion.

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Walmart has dominated the online grocery market, with more than $31 billion in sales in 2021. Additionally, its marketplace gross merchandise volume growth was up 100% in 2020 as the COVID-19 pandemic raged. Walmart’s sales are followed by Kroger, which had $12.3 billion in net e-commerce sales. Statista predicts that Walmart’s grocery e-commerce sales could be as high as $45 billion by 2023.

Walmart’s products include everything from fresh deli meats, produce, and bakery items to frozen foods and pantry staples, and for many Americans, it is the easiest option – Business Insider Magazine reports that 90% of U.S. consumers live within 15 miles of a store. Walmart accepts food stamps or EBT and works with programs such as Zip Co or Affirm that offer payment installments for groceries rather than requiring payment in one lump sum.

“E-commerce is being reshaped by grocery shopping, a category with minimal discounting compared to electronics and apparel,” Adobe’s Vice President of Growth Marketing and Insights, Patrick Brown told Forbes Magazine. “It highlights a shift in the digital economy, where speed and convenience are becoming just as important as cost savings.”

According to Statista, curbside pickup made up 20% of all digital grocery orders in 2022, and Buy Now Pay Later orders are increasing by 53% each year. While 49% of Gen Z consumers are still buying their groceries in-store, 32% of Baby Boomers prefer using curbside pickup.