Akamai Diversity

The Akamai Blog

How did your turkey trot to your home this year?

Despite the fact that I only had two guests for Thanksgiving yesterday, I still cooked enough food for 15 people, and all of the ingredients were ordered online and delivered to my front door by a nice delivery person who we have come to know fairly well over the past six months.

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2020 has changed how many of us shop for our groceries. Whether you're like me and you love at-home delivery, or you want to get out of the house and pick up your goods (Americans do), you've likely experimented with online shopping at some point this year - and reports of online grocery growth reflect that. In fact, the largest grocer in the U.S., Kroger, attributes its 2020 growth to its strong digital business

In looking at historical data of Akamai's grocery customers in the U.S. for all of 2020, leading up to November 24 (the Tuesday before Thanksgiving), we saw the monthly hits to our U.S. grocery customers' websites increase by more than 140% YTD.

Then we examined the online traffic of all of our grocery customers in the U.S. for the seven shopping days leading up to Thanksgiving 2020, November 18-24, and we compared it to the traffic for the same time frame in 2019, November 20-26. While the comparison likely won't come as a big surprise, the variance is staggering and it tells a compelling story about the future of online grocery shopping. During the compared seven days from 2019 to 2020, the average hourly hits to grocery sites were up over 65%, with the peak hourly hits up over an astounding 158%.

Additionally, we looked at the following data points for online grocery shopping during the same seven-day periods, comparing 2019 to 2020: 

  • Shoppers on mobile versus desktop: 
    • Mobile: increase from 61% to 66% 
    • Desktop: decrease from 35% to 27%
  • Bounce rates on mobile versus desktop:
    • Mobile: decrease from 39% to 36% 
    • Desktop: decrease from 28% to 22% 
  • Conversion rates on mobile versus desktop: 
    • Mobile: increase from 1.9% to 2.1% 
    • Desktop: increase from 4.9% to 6.4%

The share of mobile shopping has remained on the rise during this peak grocery shopping window, far exceeding that on desktops. It's hard to believe that as recently as 2018 we first saw mobile shopping exceed desktop on Black Friday. However, even though it decreased YoY, the bounce rate on mobile is higher than desktop, while conversions are considerably higher on desktops. This suggests that consumers shop in a hybrid style -- browsing on mobile, decision-making on desktops. It's simply easier to make a purchase on a desktop where the keyboard is bigger and perhaps credit card details are stored. Let's face it: In the grand scheme of things, mobile shopping is still a relatively new phenomenon. 

 Everything we've seen on Akamai's platform suggests that online grocery shopping is only going to increase, particularly on mobile, so it's not just physical logistics that grocers need to organize. Online grocery shopping has to be simple, engaging, and secure. 

Learn more about solutions that can help your online grocery business thrive at akamai.com/retail