SoCal Residents Aren’t Embracing Online Groceries — Yet

Carrie Rossenfeld Retail

CBRE reports that, according to ESRI, only 3 percent of the adult population in Southern California (roughly 450,000 residents) has purchased groceries online in the last 30 days. Clearly, despite the great strides made by grocers to adapt to consumer demands, shopping online for groceries has a long way to go before it is fully adopted by consumers, especially in this market.

But, as more e-commerce giants toss their hats into the grocery ring, and the convenience of buying food online becomes more commonplace, those established supermarket chains that embraced technology early will find themselves glad they jumped in sooner rather than later, says Petra Durnin, CBRE’s SoCal director research & analysis, in the report.

On the other hand, the report also says that aging retailers who struggle to keep pace with the onslaught of change are being especially challenged by technology. As certain retailers have fallen by the wayside in the online revolution, supermarket chains have grabbed the digital bull by the horns in an effort to stay relevant and compete against even the largest of e-commerce giants.

Additionally, according to the report, grocery retailers that offer their consumers the choice to purchase their groceries online have been reaping the benefits these last few years. According to eMarketer, since 2013, digital sales of groceries have increased at a steady rate of 20 percent annually. While digital sales only accounted for 3 percent of total grocery sales in the U.S. in 2017, FMI/Nielsen estimates that the market share will climb to 13 percent by 2024 as technology improves and consumers become more familiarized with the platform. This success in the online realm can be attributed to grocers strategically utilizing existing brick-and-mortar locations in tandem with mobile devices and smart technology.

Therefore, if SoCal follows the anticipated national trend, it will become a lot more comfortable with online groceries purchases over the next decade.