A new study suggests that shopping for food online is more important than ever.
According to research from the Institute for Digital Commerce, consumers spent $5 billion online in 2016, up from $4.6 billion in 2015.
The report found that the vast majority of that spending came from mobile, and it showed that it was the most popular online purchase channel.
With so much competition online, the study found that retailers are struggling to keep up.
The average price for a loaf of bread online rose from $2.29 to $4, and the average price of a carton of butter increased from $1.89 to $5.59.
“As we continue to see an increasing focus on mobile, the need for retailers to remain competitive is a concern,” said the study’s lead author, Daniel Shor, of the ICTC.
It was not surprising, then, that consumers are more interested in buying online.
While there are still plenty of retailers that offer both physical and online goods, Shor said, “there are also many that are not offering a range of products.”
Accordingly, Shoures study found the top three websites to drive traffic to their sites were Amazon, Whole Foods, and Amazon Prime.
Amazon, for example, led the pack with $13.3 billion in sales in 2016.
Amazon Prime, which is available on a variety of devices, has led to more than 100 million Prime members signing up for free shipping, which was up from 8.9 million members in 2015, Shors study found.
Whole Foods had the second-highest online sales, $7.9 billion.
Its average monthly sales rose from just over $7 million in 2015 to more like $19.5 million in 2016 — a whopping 57 percent increase.
Amazon’s ranking of No. 3 with $3.5 billion in online sales is not surprising either, as it was at No. 1 in the last two years, according to the report.
In addition to its online offerings, Whole Health and Whole Foods are the largest retailers of organic groceries, which include frozen, canned, and dehydrated foods.
It also sells organic eggs, meats, and seafood.