Is Amazon on its way to becoming America’s favorite grocer?
A new survey finds that Amazon.com has become the preferred source of groceries for the largest number of Americans.
The findings, introduced yesterday during a streaming session at the NRF Big Show 2021, were based on a survey of 10,000 U.S. households by dunnhumby. The research found that Amazon passed the grocers — H-E-B and Trader Joe’s — that topped the list last year.
Amazon and Target were called out for making significant year-over-years gains in the annual survey. These were driven by larger numbers of consumers turning to the retailers as sources for contactless grocery services as the novel coronavirus pandemic spread across the country.
The customer data science firm also saw some regional grocery chains making significant gains during the pandemic as home-bound consumers sought reliable supplies of groceries with many key categories under pressure as a result of panic buying, particularly at the outset of the pandemic in markets where it spread.
The perception of in-stock positions helped smaller chains operating high/low pricing formats in the short-term, although dunnhumby expects that everyday low price retailers are better positioned for longer term financial success.
“COVID has led to record highs and lows in economic metrics, along with huge shifts in where and how consumers shop food retail, changing the competitive trajectories of retailers who were winning and those who were struggling before the pandemic,” said Grant Steadman, president of dunnhumby’s North American practice, in a statement earlier this week.
The survey’s rankings were based on seven separate factors: price, quality, digital, operations, convenience, discounts, rewards and information, and speed. For this year’s research, dunnhumby said it added a COVID Momentum Metric to its calculations, which enabled it to better assess how changing consumer preferences drove market share gains or losses in 2020.
Mr. Steadman said, “Amazon accelerated past every other retailer on our COVID Momentum Metric and customer safety ratings, due to its speed to shop and virtual store format.”
Amazon, despite its gains, has experienced growing pains as it has transitioned to a greater grocery focus. The retailer faced supply and delivery challenges earlier on in the pandemic and rumblings from stores have indicated tension between shoppers filling online orders and associates that work in those locations.
- Covid-19 Propels Amazon to Top U.S. Grocery Retailer for the 2021 dunnhumby Retailer Preference Index – dunnhumby/Business Wire
- Two Amazon Fresh grocery stores opening in Seattle region in latest brick-and-mortar expansion – GeekWire
- Are Amazon Prime delivery shoppers disrupting Whole Foods’ stores? – RetailWire
- Will Whole Foods draw more Prime shoppers with one-hour curbside pickup? – RetailWire
- Amazon Fresh grocery store opens touting low prices and cashier-free checkout – RetailWire
- Amazon puts new online grocery customers on hold, reconfigures Whole Foods – RetailWire
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: What grocers do you think have been the biggest winners since the pandemic hit the U.S.? How likely is Amazon to be able to maintain its grocery momentum?