Food, Travel and Tech

72% of people are still hitting the grocery store, and 83% have had issues with grocery delivery

Twenty20 | Tereza

As the Covid-19 pandemic has disrupted normal life for months, many people have eschewed running typical errands

But according to a new survey by Bankrate.com, 72% of respondents are still taking trips to the grocery store amid the pandemic, rather than ordering in and using delivery services. 

In fact, only 24% of people indicated they've been ordering in — 13% of people have been doing so through local grocery delivery services, 13% through national grocery services, like AmazonFresh or Instacart and 7% say they are using meal-kit services, like Blue Apron.

The survey, which was conducted between April 29 and May 1 by Bankrate.com and market research firm YouGov, included 2,659 adults in the U.S. to analyze national grocery habits.  

So why is everyone still going out to shop?

"I believe a lot of this has to do with the numerous problems people are experiencing with grocery delivery services," Ted Rossman, Bankrate.com analyst, tells CNBC Make It.

According to the study, 83% of those who had groceries delivered reported delivery issues, the study found. 

These delivery issues include items out of stock (54%), being unable to schedule a delivery (34%), high service fees (23%), the delivery arriving late (21%), food lacking quality or freshness (17%) and a delivery being cancelled or never arriving (16%).

"Anyone who has tried to go online and select a delivery slot knows that in many cases you're waiting a couple weeks, if you can get one at all," Steve Caine, a retail expert and partner for consulting firm Bain & Company, previously told CNBC.

Prior to the pandemic, only about 3% or 4% of grocery spending in the U.S. was online – but now that's surged to 10% to 15%, according to Bain & Company.

Many delivery services, such as Instacart and FreshDirect, have struggled to meet the increased demand for online grocery shopping, causing for more delivery issues along the way.

"The grocery delivery market is experiencing a huge surge right now, but it could backfire if customers aren't satisfied," Rossman says. "And it's a very competitive market that encompasses local services, national players, such as Instacart and Amazon and meal-kit providers."

"There's a narrow margin for error, because customers have lots of choices, during and especially after the pandemic."

Despite the less than great experience, 62% of food delivery customers reported tipping more than usual.

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