Online grocery shopping rapidly becoming next frontier in digital revolution

Updated: May. 16, 2018 at 8:51 PM EDT
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CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) - Erin Johnson is checking a weekly chore off her to-do list--permanently.

"I just didn't have time to make it to the store anymore, and on my list of priorities, the grocery store was falling to the bottom," Johnson explained.

She no longer drags her four kids to shop for an hour.

Instead, she's part of a digital revolution and pays for her new found freedom.

Johnson spends just 10 minutes choosing groceries on an app, and has them delivered by a personal shopper.

"I just don't enjoy grocery shopping and the grocery cart and the crowds," said Johnson.

The Food Marketing Institute follows retail trends, and the group says digital grocery shopping is now the fastest growing segment in retail. with 43 percent of millennials surveyed saying they shop online for groceries at least occasionally.

That's a 50 percent jump from 2016.

And in as few as five to seven years, 70 percent of consumers will grocery shop online.

"It's so convenient, how can you not? So I use it quite a bit," explained Johnson.

Competition is fierce in the local digital grocery game right now, with Costco, Walmart, Giant Eagle and Heinen's offering online shopping.

"I just don't enjoy grocery shopping, and the grocery cart and the crowds," said Johnson.

Heinen's uses an Instacart app for their delivery service, charging a five percent service fee to your total bill, and up to an additional $7.99 depending on how far you live from the store.

You pick your groceries and place your order.

They say your items could be delivered in as little as an hour.

Heinen's says their app allows you to chat with your personal shopper to change your order, if needed.

Giant Eagle offers home delivery services and curbside pickup. The first home delivery is free, after that you'll pay a $12.95 fee. Most orders require a four-hour delivery notice.

For curbside orders the first three pickups are free, after that you'll be charged a $4.95 service fee. Sometimes the app won't allow you to change your order.

If that happens Giant Eagle says you can call the store directly to do so.

Johnson says grocery shopping online is still saving her money by cutting out impulse buys in the store.

"I'm no longer making those purchases. so I've found that I've reduced my overall shopping weekly budget," said Johnson.

Grocers are counting on digital grocery shopping being the way of the future.

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