AUSTIN (KXAN) — Put another notch in H-E-B’s customer service cap.

Dunnhumby, an eCommerce research platform that operates in the grocery retail space, named H-E-B the best grocery provider in the country in its first-ever eCommerce grocery experience rankings.

The Texas-based grocer beat titans of the eCommerce industry Amazon and Walmart by having, “the best emotional connection and online share of wallet, among their customer base, out of all of the retailers in this study,” Dunnhumby’s eCommerce Retailer Preference Index said.

The company’s study lauded H-E-B’s curbside/delivery website and app for their ease of use and reliability when it comes to ordering groceries. H-E-B launched its app right before COVID-19 lockdowns hit in 2019 and had been offering curbside pickup since 2015. The study said H-E-B’s increased commitment to its digital platform was a big reason why it’s at the top of the rankings.

“H-E-B had been strongly developing its digital capabilities and laying the ground at the perfect time before the pandemic’s boost in online grocery,” the study said.

The study said H-E-B increased its digital scores from 2018 the most of any grocery retailer that was included.

The top five eCommerce grocery retailers according to the study are:

  • H-E-B
  • Amazon
  • Amazon Fresh
  • Walmart
  • Sam’s Club
  • Kroger
  • BJ’s
  • Sprouts

The study showed how H-E-B and Amazon compare, and while Amazon has a clear advantage in the volume of products, H-E-B performs much better than Jeff Bezos’ company in ease/reliability and substitutes, the study said. Those two preference drivers are some of the most important in the study’s ranking system.

When broken down into subcategories from ease/reliability, HEB outperforms Amazon in nearly all of them, ranging from convenient time slots and having the correct products to making groceries easy to find and the ability to pay easily.

The study said it gave further preference to retailers who owned its digital assets rather than relying on a third-party service like Instacart or DoorDash to fill its eCommerce orders.

“Moreover, there are several indications that H-E-B is winning with the eCommerce shopper on the omnichannel level,” the study said. “It has the highest share of wallet overall (online and brick-and-mortar) and is by far the leader in emotional connection in this study (one standard deviation above Sam’s Club, its closest competitor).”