Nearly half of Americans report more online grocery shopping amid the COVID-19 pandemic

Walmart is the most popular online and in-store retail destination, ongoing study finds

April 9, 2020 – Reach3 Insights and Rival Technologies today released a new report showing significant shifts in the eating and grocery shopping habits of Americans as the COVID-19 situation progresses.

The study, conducted March 27 to 30, engaged an online community of 450 Americans and found that 52% have changed their eating habits recently to cope with physical distancing and other consequences of the pandemic. In addition, 36% of Americans report that they plan to continue to use new brands they’ve tried after COVID-19.

“The uncertainty around the COVID-19 crisis is profoundly changing how people think, feel and act,” said Andrew Reid, Group CEO of Reid Campbell Group, parent company of Rival Technologies and Reach3 Insights. “Our research shows that consumer behaviors have changed significantly in a very short amount of time. Research from five weeks ago—let alone five months ago—is no longer relevant. In these difficult times, brands need to move fast and do so with the empathy that comes from a renewed customer understanding.”

The study found that 45% of Americans are doing more online grocery shopping these days. Many people said Walmart was their top grocery shopping destination—both online and offline. Among online retailers, Walmart Grocery (36%) outranked Amazon Fresh (25%), local grocery websites (23%) and Instacart (22%) as the most popular. For in-store shopping, Walmart (47%) came on top, with Aldi (20%), Target (18%), Kroger (17%) and Costco (16%) trailing behind.

“Walmart is the clear choice for American shoppers during this unprecedented time,” said Matt Kleinschmit, CEO & Founder of Reach3 Insights. “Part of this is scale—Walmart has brand awareness and retail footprint like no other retailer.”

“But another critical aspect of Walmart’s winning formula is the customer experience. Many shoppers report having positive experiences with Walmart’s prices, in-store cleanliness, store hours and physical distancing efforts. Moving forward, capturing ongoing insights about the evolving needs of shoppers will be crucial for retailers and CPG manufacturers alike as shopping routines and brand preferences could very well change as a result of this ‘new normal’ that everyone is living through.”   

The study is part of a complimentary research program recently launched by Rival Technologies and Reach3 Insights to help CEOs and senior marketers keep a pulse on shifting consumer sentiment during COVID-19. The program, titled Consumer Closeness in the Age of Social Distancing, combines Rival’s mobile messaging-based technology with Reach3’s immersive research approaches to engage an online community of American and Canadian consumers and capture longitudinal quantitative and qualitative insights on the impact of the pandemic.

“The goal of this customer engagement program is to provide senior business leaders with the data and insights they need to understand and empathize with their customers during this difficult time,” said Jennifer Reid, President and Chief Methodologist at Rival Technologies. “Where lots of research will highlight numbers, this initiative gives that data a human face with in-the-moment videos and testimonials that deepen our understanding of what people are experiencing. Through our tech, we're getting video feedback along with robust quantitative insights—a powerful combination that helps illuminate the human side of the pandemic.”

Business leaders can sign up for this complimentary program through the Rival and Reach3 websites.

About Reach3 Insights
Reach3 Insights is a full-service research consultancy that develops scalable, conversational insight solutions for today’s modern, agile enterprise. Led by CEO Matt Kleinschmit, the company uses immersive, in-the-moment research designs and dynamic digital storytelling to deliver deep experiential insights that inspire action. Reach3 is part of Reid Campbell Group and a sister company to Rival Technologies, a tech company developing chat, voice and video solutions that integrate into messaging platforms and technologies that people actively use on a daily basis. For more information, visit

About Rival Technologies
Rival Technologies lets companies connect with consumers as easily as you do with your friends and family. The company’s platform enables industry-leading brands such as the NHL's Vancouver Canucks and REVOLT MEDIA & TV activate their existing social media and online communities to engage the right audience via SMS and mobile messaging apps for consumer insights. Rival’s solutions use mobile-first technologies to capture real-time quantitative and qualitative feedback—enabling CX, market research and marketing professionals to be agile and get the insights they need to improve business outcomes. Rival is part of the Reid Campbell Group and a sister company to Reach3 Insights, a full-service consultancy that uses immersive and in-the-moment research and dynamic digital storytelling approaches to deliver experiential insights that inspire action. For more information, visit

Media Enquiries:
Interview opportunities with Andrew Reid, Group CEO of Reid Campbell Group; Matt Kleinschmit, Founder and CEO of Reach3 Insights; and Jennifer Reid, President and Chief Methodologist of Rival Technologies; are available upon request.

Media assets, including head shots and official logos, are available here.

Kelvin Claveria
Director of Marketing