ECONOMY

E-supermarket sales continue to grow

e-supermarket-sales-continue-to-grow

Online commerce, disinfectants and cooking at home are here to stay. In contrast, habits from the pre-Covid-19 era, such as having a leisurely wander around the supermarket or eating out at restaurants or tavernas, aren’t likely to make a regular appearance anytime soon, at least for most people, a new survey has shown.

It is not at all coincidental that online supermarkets continue to show exceptionally high growth rates even after the lifting of most restrictions. According to data presented by Convert Group founder and chief executive officer Panayiotis Gezerlis on Tuesday, online supermarket sales showed an annual growth rate of 180% in the May 1-24 period.

Although the growth rate may not be as high as in March (307%), this market continues to grow at a breathtaking pace. Before the onset of the pandemic in Greece, the expansion rates of online supermarkets in the country were far lower: From 35% last December and 29% in January the growth rate rose to 62% in February thanks to the jump in sales over the last week of that month, Gezerlis told the online debate titled “Following Consumers to the New Reality.”

The average online shopping order value per customer remains high, at 96 euros, against €86 before the pandemic. At one point the average basket’s value soared to €123, while the number of visitors to e-supermarkets also took off. Estimates put the average number of daily visits to online grocers this month at 136,000, against 71,000 in the pre-Covid-19 period.

Nielsen researcher Alexandros Floros told the same debate that 22% of Greek e-store buyers are totally new customers who started doing their shopping online during the lockdown. Crucially, they continue to buy basic commodities from online supermarkets even after the lifting of most restrictions: 42% purchase personal care products, 28% household items, 24% packaged food and 19% drinks.

Such has been the shift in the habits of consumers over the last 11 weeks that although supermarkets saw an increase of €400 million year-on-year for a total turnover of more than €1.5 billion, according to IRI Hellas data, the bricks-and-mortar stores of the same chains recorded 82.4 million fewer visits by consumers in the last three months, per the calculations of the Research Institute of Retail Consumer Goods (IELKA).