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Why consumers hesitate to shop online: An experimental choice analysis of grocery shopping and the role of delivery fees

Yan Huang (Department of Marketing, Faculty of Business and Economics, Monash University, Melbourne, Australia)
Harmen Oppewal (Department of Marketing, Faculty of Business and Economics, Monash University, Melbourne, Australia)

International Journal of Retail & Distribution Management

ISSN: 0959-0552

Article publication date: 1 April 2006

20546

Abstract

Purpose

To find out if and how delivery charge and three other situational factors affect consumers' grocery shopping channel choice.

Design/methodology/approach

A survey was conducted among a convenience sample of 152 supermarket shoppers in South England. Each respondent was presented with two hypothetical grocery shopping scenarios characterised by four situational factors. Respondents were asked to indicate their preference for shopping online or in‐store in each described situation. They also provided information about their last grocery shopping trip.

Findings

The results show that all four situational factors affect consumers' shopping channel preference. It was further established that, though of influence, delivery charges are not the most important factor. Fifteen minutes difference in travel time to the grocery store had a greater impact on the relative preference to shop online or in‐store than a delivery fee of £5.

Research limitations/implications

Although experimentally controlled, the findings are based on behavioural intentions and not on real market behaviour. Also, they are based on a convenience sample of intercepted shoppers only.

Practical implications

Attempts to promote online grocery shopping should focus on communicating the time savings gained by shopping online rather than lowering delivery charges.

Originality/value

Only few studies have investigated effects of situational factors, including delivery charges, on consumer channel choice for grocery shopping. Experimental studies are particularly scarce.

Keywords

Citation

Huang, Y. and Oppewal, H. (2006), "Why consumers hesitate to shop online: An experimental choice analysis of grocery shopping and the role of delivery fees", International Journal of Retail & Distribution Management, Vol. 34 No. 4/5, pp. 334-353. https://doi.org/10.1108/09590550610660260

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2006, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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