USA Today

USA Today 28 Mar 2020

Josh Gad, the voice of Olaf, holds online storytime

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Josh Gad of 'Frozen' is hosting online storytime for kids stuck at home and it's our favorite part of the day. ☃️


Tech companies like Facebook, Google and Twitter are working to curb the spread of false information online regarding COVID-19, but they have come under fire for some of the messages spread on their platforms. Some of the activity appears to originate from China. CNET senior producer Dan Patterson joins CBSN with more.
Online grocery delivery is seeing exceptional growth amid the coronavirus. Over the last few weeks, Instacart has seen customer order volume increase more than 500% year-over-year. But after the coronavirus, will demand for these online services stick?

Thousands of small businesses have closed due to the coronavirus outbreak in the United States. But one sector that's seen exceptional growth is online grocery delivery.

A recent survey by RBC Capital Markets in March found that 55% of respondents had purchased groceries online, up from just 36% in 2018 and 15% in 2015 . Online grocery delivery service Instacart told CNBC that demand over the last few weeks has been the highest in the company's history and that customer order volume is up more than 500% year-over-year.

Once a luxury, the coronavirus pandemic has transformed grocery delivery services like Instacart and Amazon Fresh into essential seemingly overnight. But whether or not grocery delivery will become mainstream in the long run will depend on how ther perform now.

"This has been a major potential customer acquisition opportunity for the Instacarts of the world, the Amazon Freshes of the world. All consumers are turning towards them to try them out," says Mark Mahaney, managing director at RBC. "They'll have some patience for a service that isn't a hundred percent. I think people will be somewhat realistic about that. But if in a month or two, if Instacart and Amazon Fresh aren't able to get their act together, you're going to have a lot of people who'll have tried to service, found it wanting and will go right back to the grocery stores."

Check out the video above for more on the growth of online grocery delivery and how the sector may fair after the virus recedes.
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