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Report: Prices, New Shoppers Fuel Online Grocery Sales Surge

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Online grocery sales continued their strong pace in May, powered by lower prices and an influx of new online food shoppers, according to e-commerce sales data from Signifyd.

Overall, grocery spending was up 30 percent year over year in May, according to Signifyd’s monthly E-Commerce Pulse data report. That far outstrips inflation and indicates that consumers’ robust spending in grocery has not let up. Together the trends may point to the long-discussed, post-COVID-19 pandemic “new normal.”

E-commerce sales in the grocery category, which include curbside pickup, surged during the pandemic. But now that the concern about in-person shopping has passed, there is no sign the category will go back to online sales remotely close to pre-pandemic levels.

“Grocery sales have remained consistently strong throughout the year – up 23 percent overall,” said Phelim Killough, Signifyd’s data analyst, who prepares its monthly Pulse report. 

“This is being heavily driven by an increase in order count – and we found these orders are coming from a significantly higher number of online grocery shoppers than were buying online just a year ago.”

The evidence of a lasting transformation in grocery shopping can be found in Signifyd’s data through the first five months of the year. 

Signifyd E-commerce Pulse data shows that since January:

  • Online grocery sales are up 23 percent over the same period last year.
  • The number of orders is up 31 percent over last year.
  • The average value of each order is down 6 percent.
  • The number of new online grocery shoppers is up 10 percent.
  • Orders placed per shopper (as identified by a unique combination of digital signals) is up 19 percent.
  • Home delivery orders grew by 25 percent while curbside pickup was up 21 percent.

The sales surge is happening as e-commerce inflation in grocery has flattened, down 0.1 percent from a year ago. That is compared to a year-over-year inflation rate that reached 6.7 percent in the grocery category in May 2023.

[RELATED: Online Grocery Sales Down Slightly Versus Last Year]


The numbers describe a growing group of shoppers who watch what they spend while turning to online ordering more frequently than a year ago. This trends mean retailers and brands need to approach pricing decisions strategically to appeal to the growing and increasingly price-sensitive market.

Overall, e-commerce sales for May were up 12 percent from a year ago, according to Signifyd Pulse data. Other popular categories, along with grocery, that saw gains included auto parts and tires, which were up 5 percent over May 2023. Home goods and leisure and outdoor were each up 4 percent. Luxury goods were down 3 percent. The beauty category and electronics were each down 2 percent annually.

Meanwhile, fraud pressure in May was up 35 percent from a year ago. Fraud pressure is a measure of the rise and fall of orders determined by Signifyd’s AI models to be risky and therefore likely fraudulent.

About the data

Signifyd’s E-Commerce Pulse data is derived from transactions on Signifyd’s Commerce Network of thousands of e-commerce retailers and brands. Commerce Network intelligence also powers Signifyd’s Commerce Protection Platform, which leverages AI-driven machine learning models and data from millions of transactions to detect and block fraudulent activity while increasing the number of good orders approved.

About the author

Sommer Stockton

Web Editor

Sommer joined The Shelby Report in January 2022 after graduating from Brenau University in Gainesville, GA with a B.A. and M.A. in Communications and Media Studies. Sommer is excited to learn about the grocery industry and share her findings with The Shelby Report's readers!

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