H-E-B Beats Amazon as dunnhumby’s Top U.S. e-Grocer

In a photo-finish, regional grocer H-E-B Grocery Co. beat out e-commerce giant Amazon as the top-ranked online grocery retailer in the dunnhumby’s inaugural eCommerce Retailer Preference Index (RPI). In the poll of 3,000 U.S. households, dunnhumby rated 54 online grocery retailers in the U.S. on multiple customer preferences including owned digital asset usage, ease and reliability, substitutes, products, and price. The score also considered a composite score of change in web visits from 2019 to 2021, the share of wallet online, and online penetration. All participating households must have made at least one online grocery order in the previous 30 days.

It was a near statistical tie at the top of the rankings, but H-E-B narrowly beat out Amazon and its Amazon Fresh supermarket banner, followed by Walmart, Sam’s Club and Kroger. Multiple industry polls, including InMarket’s Insights Q4 2021 Consumer Loyalty Report, have ranked the H-E-B customer among the most loyal in the $100 billion U.S. grocery market. It is that emotional connection, plus the share of wallet among its customer base that pushed H-E-B to the number one spot, according to dunnhumby’s customer data science specialist. “H-E-B’s impressive performance proves that it’s possible to compete and win against Amazon when it comes to grocery e-commerce. Their success offers midsize and regional retailers a roadmap on how to succeed online,” Grant Steadman, president of Chicago-based dunnhumby North America, said in a statement. He added that a simple and easy to use interface, together with customer satisfaction and loyalty, reveals how omnichannel grocers can thrive in a changing digital retail landscape. According to Dunnhumby, all retailers in the top eight positions have a well-established online platform and the advantage of scale and size, allowing them to invest more in ecommerce and reap greater operational efficiencies.

Amazon and H-E-B held their places as the No. 1 and No. 2 U.S. grocery retailers in dunnhumby’s 2022 U.S. Grocery Retailer Preference Index released in January. Unlike the eCommerce RPI, the U.S. Grocery RPI rates price as the most important customer preference driver. Rounding out the top eight grocers in the grocery preference index were Market Basket, Wegmans Food Markets, Amazon Fresh, Aldi, Trader Joe’s, and Sam’s Club.