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H-E-B edges out Amazon as the top U.S. e-commerce grocer, survey said

Maria Halkias, The Dallas Morning News on

Published in Fashion Daily News

DALLAS — H-E-B has taken the lead in a consumer preference index as the top e-commerce grocer ahead of second- and third-place finishers Amazon and Amazon Fresh.

Customer data science firm Dunnhumby said recently that it was a near statistical tie, but San Antonio-based H-E-B narrowly edged out Amazon. Walmart ranked fourth, followed by Sam’s Club.

Online grocers with their own digital operations “have a clear strength” versus relying mostly on intermediaries such as Instacart and Shipt, Dunnhumby said. The top retailers have more control over the customer online experience.

H-E-B purchased Austin-based delivery service company Favor in early 2018 and then built an innovation lab for e-commerce in Austin, in which Favor and H-E-B’s digital team work together.

Since then, H-E-B has added separate areas to existing stores, including to its Dallas-based Central Market division stores, that are designed for its personal shoppers and curbside customers.

H-E-B had the highest level of “emotional connection” and online share of wallet among its customer base of all the retailers studied, the survey said.


Although its online business was built after Amazon and Walmart, H-E-B customers migrated their spending online the most after the pandemic hit, Dunnhumby said.

Customers increased their grocery spending online by 27%, which resulted in H-E-B having the highest share of wallet online.

“H-E-B’s impressive performance proves that it’s possible to compete and win against Amazon when it comes to grocery e-commerce,” said Grant Steadman, president of North America for Dunnhumby. “Their success offers midsize and regional retailers a roadmap on how to succeed online.”

H-E-B said early last year that it is expanding into the Dallas-Fort Worth area with several stores. So far it has announced four stores in Frisco, Plano, McKinney and Allen, and has confirmed that it’s looking at several more. The stores in Frisco and Plano will open later this year.

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