Online grocery sales doubled in December in biggest Christmas for supermarkets ever

Ecommerce

Online grocery sales doubled in December helping drive the most lucrative Christmas ever for the UK’s supermarkets.

During the four weeks to December 26, online grocery sales accounted for 12.5 per cent of the UK’s total £12 billion supermarket spend, representing £1.3 billion according to the latest data from Nielsen.

This was double the 6.7 per cent share of total sales online grocery achieved in the same period a year earlier, marking the biggest December on record.

According to Nielsen, just over 30 per cent of UK households did their Christmas grocery shopping online this year, seeing the number rise from 5.7 million households in 2019 to 8.5 million.

READ MORE: Morrisons Amazon and Deliveroo partnerships drive 190% online growth that is “hard for rivals to match”

While this led to a 10 per cent drop in store visits, average spend per visit rose from £17 in 2019 to £20, marking the biggest ever spend per visit during the Christmas period.

“2020 marks the first Christmas where online shopping played a significant role in consumers’ shopping behaviours, with 85% of the incremental sales in food and drink made online in the last four weeks ending 26th December,” Nielsen’s UK head of retailer and business insight Mike Watkins said.

“Although overall grocery growth was a little lower than in November, this takes into account the many challenges consumers faced around restrictions and cancelled Christmas plans.”

Lidl reportedly saw the highest level of growth over the period seeing sales jump 20.9 per cent, while Morrisons led the Big 4 retailers seeing sales grow 9.2 per cent.

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