Supermarkets continue to lag behind Amazon and Walmart in e-commerce satisfaction

US consumers rate Amazon top for overall satisfaction when ordering food and grocery items online, with Amazon scoring 4.70 on a five-point scale, followed by Walmart (4.54) and Supermarkets/Food Stores (4.36)

The research found about half of online shoppers plan to purchase grocery items more often in the coming year according to the Retail Feedback Group (RFG) 2018 U.S. Online Grocery Shopper Study.

The research also captured generational differences with online shopping for food and groceries, finding Boomers are the most satisfied (4.65), followed by Gen X (4.51) and Millennials (4.43).

Satisfaction with Elements of the Online Shopping Experience by Provider

Segmenting satisfaction scores on twelve touchpoints of the online shopping experience including ordering, fulfillment and people elements, by major provider, results in interesting findings, especially when comparing "highly satisfied" marks.  

Amazon Shoppers: Amazon shoppers rated eight of the twelve elements of the online shopping experience significantly higher than Supermarket/Food Store shoppers and seven elements significantly higher than Walmart shoppers. Walmart and Amazon shopper ratings were not significantly different on five elements.

Walmart Shoppers: Walmart shoppers rated five elements significantly higher than Supermarket/Food Store shoppers.

Supermarket/Food Store Shoppers: These shoppers registered the lowest "highly satisfied" scores on nearly all elements measured versus Amazon and Walmart online grocery shoppers. There was relative parity with shoppers of the other providers on just two elements.

Instacart Shoppers: Of the 57% of shoppers who indicated their order was fulfilled by delivery, approximately one third of those had deliveries that were handled by Instacart. Shoppers who had orders filled by Instacart rated all five ordering factors and most fulfillment factors higher than online shoppers across all Supermarket/Food Store shoppers. People factors were rated similarly.

Doug Madenberg, RFG Principal, stated, "Clearly Amazon, Walmart, and Instacart are taking advantage of both their experience in the space, and the capital they continually invest, in improving the online grocery ordering and fulfilment experience. Supermarkets and food stores operating eCommerce on their own, or through a third-party platform, should take note of Instacart's scores and ensure their service provides an experience at the same or higher level." 

Fresh Department Purchases

One of the striking findings when comparing current study findings to last year's results was the increased purchasing levels of fresh food items based on online grocery shoppers indicating which supermarket type items they buy online. Year-over-year, significant increases were found in many of these departments.



Percent purchasing online

Increase YoY


















Prepared Food & Meals





Deli Meats & Cheeses










Brian Numainville, RFG Principal observed, "With an ever-increasing number of online grocery shopping options, consumers are clearly responding and purchasing a wide range of items. The willingness to purchase fresh items in higher frequencies than last year illustrates that providers are improving in their ability to overcome objections that historically have been limiters in these areas. While there is still room for growth, this finding provides encouraging news for retailers and others offering online food shopping services."

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