307% Growth Rate for the Greek Online Grocery in Μarch 2020
Greek Online Grocery soared during the COVID-19 outbreak, reaching an impressive 307% rate in March, a growth that Convert Group expected to happen in the following 5 years. Especially in the 12th week of 2020 (March 16-22), online purchases rose 501% compared to 2019 [Table 1]. At the same week, penetration of online grocery sales skyrocketed to 1,8%, 4,5 times higher than week 1 [Table 2], confirming the significant shift in eCommerce due to COVID-19 restrictions.
The above findings are included in the Q1’2020 Greek Online Grocery Report, Convert Group published with data coming from its platform, eRetail Audit. The company’s innovative platform allows manufacturers and retailers of FMCGs and Consumer Healthcare Companies to have daily access to real-time aggregated data combined with meaningful commercial, marketing & eCommerce insights and monitor their digital shelf strategy. Convert Group collaborated along with Nielsen Greece, to compare the performance in both physical and online grocery channel.
According to the latest estimates, the traffic of the 8 largest online grocery players ab.gr (AB Vassilopoulos main site), bazaar-online.gr (Bazaar Group of Verouka), caremarket.gr (Sklavenitis), e-fresh.gr ( the only purely online super market from 8), kritikos-easy.gr (Cretan), eshop.masoutis.gr (Masoutis), eshop.mymarket.gr (MyMarket), thanopoulos.gr (D. Thanopoulos with a presence mainly in the Northern Suburbs of Attica), exceeded 4m visits in March [Table 3]. Thus, the penetration of total online grocery-related shopping could be steeply higher if we take into consideration the mobile apps of the above core grocery players, as well as the new channel of Sklavenitis through e-food.gr. Meanwhile, the keyword “online supermarket” in Google seemed to be very popular, as Greeks searched it 10 times more in March than they did on average.
The online “household basket” in the first quarter of 2020, contained in value (€) 30% of fresh food (vegetables, fruits, dairy, fresh meat & fish, etc.), suggesting that consumers have started getting confident ordering food online. The proportion of food (including beverages) was 69% of total purchases [Table 4]. What is more, the average basket in the first quarter of 2020 climbed to €101 including VAT, from €88 (including VAT) that was in 2019, as cooking has increased significantly during the quarantine. Amongst other factors, the increase in the average value of the online order has been contributed by the growth of purchases in cleaning products that leapt 169% in the first quarter of 2020 compared to the same period of 2019, while especially for the period when the quarantine measures were applied (24/2 – 31/3 2020) the market value (€) of this category increased sharply to 1,404% compared to the same period in 2019.
Regarding the most popular category sales that increased during the quarantine period [Table 5] we observe growth of 1,234% in flour & semolina, 614% in rice & pulses, 540% in body cleansing, 509% in pasta, 468% in pharmaceutical supplies (gloves, masks, pure alcohol), 447% in canned goods, 436% in frozen vegetables & fruit, 431% in frozen pizzas and 427% in paper for household cleaning.
According to Convert Group the online grocery channel’s growth could be significantly higher if the stores could cope with the unprecedented demand, as the estimated lost opportunities in March amounted to tens of thousands. It is worthwhile to mention that this phenomenon is observed globally with even colossal eRetailers such as Tesco, ASDA, Kroger & Ocado in the UK, USA, etc., confronting similar challenges with the Greek online groceries. At the same time, in Convert Group’s market data are not yet included the online orders from Sklavenitis through the channel of e-food.gr, which are also expected to increase even more the online share of online orders in the total Greek Organised Grocery ecosystem. Convert Group estimates that consumers’ purchase habits will be forever changed, as has been observed in China with Carrefour and Walmart’s physical channels, in Shanghai with a 50% drop compared to the same period in 2019, despite the fact that 80% of restaurants and 90% of shopping malls in the city are open. In sum, similar online consumer behavior shift has been monitored by the company in other countries as well, in which Convert Group operates with products and services.
Download the free Q1’2020 Greek Online Grocery Report to learn more details.