Analysis of Expectations of Electronic Grocery Shopping for Potential Customer Segments
AbstractThe special nature of groceries, especially perishables, challenges the possibilities of digital channels i.e. computers and networks to improve customer service. We report the findings of theme interviews on the potential of electronic commerce (EC) of groceries with 33 experts of grocery industry and EC, most of them senior executives, in 23 organisations in Finland during the Autumn of 1997. The specific areas of interest in the study are the predicted volume of EC in grocery shopping, the most potential customer segments, the anticipated benefits of EC to customers, and supplier strategies and infrastructure alternatives. Benefits of ECS (electronic grocery shopping) are analysed for three selected potential customer groups in terms of phases in consumer buying process as well as two different infrastructure solutions. It seems that an EGS build on top of current grocery industry infrastructure can only satisfy one major consumer group. In order to gain momentum EGS needs a dedicated infrastructure within which logistic efficiency can be increased.
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