SNAP EBT online purchasing is about to explode
snap ebt online purchasing
Ever since the first COVID lockdown in 2019, more and more people have started to do their regular shopping online. As everyone started avoiding...

SNAP EBT online purchasing is about to explode

Ever since the first COVID lockdown in 2019, more and more people have started to do their  regular shopping online. As everyone started avoiding grocery stores, the USDA began working  towards a long-standing goal of accepting SNAP online purchases. 

In 2017, a group of retailers who would pilot the SNAP online program was selected, but it wasn’t  until the April of 2019 that internet sales would become available to everyone. In 2019 there was a  survey where it was shown that 51% of SNAP recipients chose to purchase groceries online if given  that option. 

It is still unclear why it took so long for SNAP purchases to be accepted online, but everything  quickly changed in 2020 when SNAP online purchasing grew 6,900%. Today, many states are  approved to accept online SNAP benefits, making life easier for everyone.

snap ebt online purchasing 

Social distancing and online shopping

The main reason most people opt for online shopping instead of going to a physical store is social  distancing. Of course, online shopping has been popular for quite some time, but since 2019, its  popularity has increased drastically. 

By allowing low-income individuals to utilize their SNAP benefits online, you are practicing safe  social distancing and expanding your customer base. This means that you will get a lot more  customers and thus a bigger profit in the long run as a retailer.

SNAP online shopping issues

The only issue with SNAP online shopping is the fact that it is not possible to cover delivery fees  with SNAP benefits. Often, retailers that offer online SNAP purchasing will also offer free delivery  options to those with a certain number of SNAP-eligible items selected for delivery. But what  happens if they select less than what is necessary to get free delivery options? This is still an  ongoing issue that is yet to be fully resolved. 

SNAP and online spending patterns 

Did you know that SNAP dollars represent a significant amount of grocery spending nationally?  SNAP households are responsible for an estimated 10% of the food and beverage spending, which is  worth approx $55 billion. Not to mention that SNAP households were proven to be more likely to 

shop online compared to non-SNAP households. This makes it an important market segment for all  grocery retailers.