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Buying groceries online has never been particularly compatible with couponing and deal-seeking. Paper coupons and weekly sales circulars just don’t really work well when you’re doing your shopping on your computer or your phone. So more grocery shoppers who don’t want to deal with clipping coupons or waiting for sales in order to save money online, are going to the same place they go when they don’t want to deal with clipping coupons or waiting for sales in order to save money in store –

Walmart.

Another new survey has found that Walmart is the leading online grocery retailer, beating out Amazon and all others. Jungle Scout is a platform for those who want to sell on Amazon. But in its latest Consumer Trends Report, the company found that, when it comes to groceries, Walmart is the one doing all the selling.

51% of Walmart.com shoppers purchased groceries on the site at some point during the first few months of this year, as compared to 23% of Amazon shoppers who did the same. Overall, 20% of all shoppers surveyed said they plan to do most of their grocery shopping on Walmart.com in the coming months, compared to 17% who plan to purchase from Amazon. Combined with the 25% who plan to grocery shop in a physical Walmart store (as compared to the 22% who plan to shop in-person at another grocery store), that gives Walmart a commanding 45% of all grocery trips, both in-store and online.

That’s in line with a Coresight Research survey conducted last summer, in which it found that Walmart overtook Amazon in online grocery for the first time, with 56% of those who have bought groceries online buying at least some of their groceries from Walmart, versus 55% who bought from Amazon.

So why does Walmart appear to be winning in online grocery, when Amazon has long been synonymous with fast and easy online shopping?

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“Walmart attracts price-conscious consumers and those drawn to the familiarity of the store,” Jungle Scout says. 39% of Walmart.com shoppers said they prefer to shop there due to familiarity with the store’s products. Plus, “consumers rank price as the top reason they shopped on Walmart.com,” with 12% saying they don’t purchase from Amazon because the prices are too high.

The coronavirus pandemic and stay-at-home orders last year forced many retailers to step up their game in online groceries, as many more people chose to shop from home. Walmart already had a huge share of the in-person grocery market, so it just needed to focus on transferring that loyalty online. Amazon, in contrast, has a huge share of the online shopping market, but doesn’t yet have much of a reputation in groceries, despite its purchase of Whole Foods Market several years ago and its slow rollout of physical Amazon grocery stores.

And now that Walmart has the online advantage, it doesn’t plan to let it go. Earlier this year, an internal Walmart memo seen by Recode fretted that competitors like Target, Instacart and Amazon were gaining ground. “Grocery, the growth engine of the business, is losing share,” the memo warned, noting that “Walmart shopper[s] are choosing the competition.”

But publicly, Walmart is expressing more optimism. “Online grocery grew much more quickly than I think we probably ever would have anticipated when we started,” Walmart Chief Financial Officer Brett Biggs told an investors’ conference last week. And during the pandemic, “people learned to love that online grocery service. And we’re right in the perfect place to serve that customer.”

That said, Amazon has just wrapped up its annual Prime Day sale. And, according to a new survey from the data and tech company Numerator, nearly one out of five shoppers said they bought groceries from Amazon on Prime Day, an event traditionally focused on nonfood, household and electronic deals.

“Look, we have great competitors in the grocery space. And they’ll continue to get more aggressive, I have no doubt,” Biggs said. “But, I feel, so will we.”

So even post-pandemic, it looks like online grocery shopping is here to stay. And until someone comes up with a better way to allow you to use coupons and take advantage of big grocery promotions online, the store that offers “everyday low prices” in store, may end up winning online as well.

Image source: Walmart

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