The Commercial Struggle of Online Grocery Shopping: A Consumer Behavioral Study on Why Online Grocery Shopping has not had its Commercial Breakthrough in Denmark

Dinah Malene Bjerregaard Thomsen & Yasemin Seren

Student thesis: Master thesis

Abstract

Objective: The objective of this study is to acquire an understanding to why online grocery shopping has not had its commercial breakthrough yet in Denmark. With a narrow focus on consumer behavioral studies, the study determines what underlying consumer behavioral factors that might explain why Danish consumers do not shop groceries online. Additionally, the study determines potential barriers to online grocery shopping that exist from a consumer perspective. Methodology: The study will accomplish its research objective through a hermeneutic and social constructivist approach. The empirical data in this thesis originates from primary and secondary sources. The primary data consists of data collected through an online questionnaire. The online questionnaire consists of open and closed questions. The responses to the questions are used as the basis to understand why online grocery shopping has not had its commercial breakthrough in Denmark. The respondents consist of Danish women and men above the age of eighteen. The total sample size of the online questionnaire is 621. Findings: The study found multiple consumer behavioral explanations that possibly explain why consumers do not shop groceries online. For example, grocery shopping covers more than a basic need, such as social needs, something that online grocery shopping is unable to cover. As grocery shopping covers more than a basic need, such as social needs, it requires more involvement. Online grocery shopping does not allow the same involvement, such as touching the products. Consumers believe that online grocery shopping requires too rigid a decision-making process. Additionally, many consumer characteristics clearly mismatch with the online grocery-shopping concept. Moreover, grocery shopping is highly related to habits. Changing habits is related to switching costs. Consumers express that switching from a physical to an online store has financial, relational and procedural switching costs. The study also found multiple consumer barriers to online grocery shopping. Examples include: negative attitude, perceived negative social consequences, lack of perceived quality control, and inability to touch items. Conclusions: The study found that the answer to why online grocery shopping has not had its commercial breakthrough in Denmark is rooted in two main explanations: 1) There is a general mismatch between the concept of online grocery shopping and the consumer behavior of Danish consumers. 2) Consumers have concerns that act as barriers. This ultimately hinders them from shopping groceries online.

EducationsMA in International Business Communication (Intercultural Marketing), (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
LanguageEnglish
Publication date2018
Number of pages277
SupervisorsChristine Lenstrup