Online grocery sales in the US rose by a quarter over the past month, as retailers solved the problems caused by heavy demand in the early stages of the pandemic.
According to a Brick Meets Click/Mercatus survey, 43 million US shoppers placed 73.5 m online grocery orders in May, at an average of $90 per order.
Sales in the period are estimated at $6.6bn, a 24 per cent increase over April, and a 450 per cent increase on the level in August last year.
It also found that household penetration for online grocery buying had risen to 33 per cent in May, up 2 per cent from April, and more than double what had been projected for this period before the impact of coronavirus.
The growth from April to May was said to have been driven by retailers expanding their capacity to deal with online orders by offering more time slots for delivery, hiring additional staff and reconfiguring stores.
The demand for online shopping suggests that the inconvenience of queueing for groceries, and of reduced shopping hours, has encouraged more consumers to shop online.
However, the demand for online orders is expected to fall once lockdown measures are fully lifted across the country, with the impact of lowered household incomes making people less likely to pay a premium for the convenience of ordering online.