As I’ve been working from home for the past few weeks, I look out the window every now and then and see a parade of FedEx, UPS, Amazon, and US Postal Service trucks making deliveries all day long.

It sure seems like my neighbors (and myself) have been placing a lot of online orders. Which makes sense during these Coronavirus pandemic times.

How about you? Have you been ordering more items online? How has that experience been?

Are you able to get to the stores? If so, how’s that going? Tell us about your online and/or in store shopping experiences in the comments section.

Online grocery sales have exploded since the outbreak began. Last year in the U.S., online grocery shopping made up only 3% of the food retail market, according to a report by Deutsche Bank.

But that figure is sure to grow.

As of mid-March, sales for online grocers in the U.S. were 86% higher than the same time last year, according to Earnest Research.

In particular, even before many states had imposed their stay at home orders, Instacart, Amazon, and Walmart grocery delivery sales all climbed by at least two-thirds from the year before, according to Earnest Research. Instacart, a delivery service that partners with more than 25,000 retailers in North America, stated that orders in more recent weeks have surged 150%.

So with all these deliveries going on, we want to encourage you to record these purchases.

Grocery Delivery Services

Do you use an online delivery service? If so, please make sure to record those purchases as coming from that online delivery service, not the retailer that you’re ordering the items from.

For example, if you go to the website or use their app to make a purchase from CVS Pharmacy or Costco, or any of the many other retailers that Instacart works with, select as the store you used.

If, on the other hand, you place an order on an online retailer’s website or app and the delivery happens to be via Instacart, the trip should be recorded as from the online retailer. It is very important to record these purchases using the online retailer or delivery service that you actually used.

Online Purchases

Here are our best tips for recording anything you buy online:

  • Online purchases may come in one or multiple shipments and don’t always include a packing receipt. Consider printing out your email/order confirmation so you can refer back to it when reporting your purchase.
  • If your items do come separately, please scan them as you receive them.
  • If an item arrives with the UPC barcode covered by another label, try carefully peeling off that label and scanning the UPC barcode on the item (or manually enter the barcode number if the barcode is damaged).
  • If you buy something from the website of a retailer that also has a storefront, make sure to report the trip as an online purchase. For example, if you order something from Walmart’s website, select “” when you record the purchase (whether the item was shipped directly to you or picked up at the store).

In addition, NCP has created a few videos that will help you when recording your online purchases.

NCP Tip for Online Shopping: Covered Barcodes

NCP Tip for Online Shopping: Multiple Shipments

NCP Tips: Online Shopping vs Storefront

I hope you all take care of yourselves and your family. Have a nice, socially distant weekend!

Best Regards,