Era of Online Grocery Store


By Jessie Lin

Studies done in 2000 shows that two times more consumers have experiences in online shopping than there were in 1995. At the same time, there were more online-only grocery companies who sell their goods exclusively through internet attempting to replace traditional supermarkets ;yet many of them eventually failed. The article analyzes the pros and cons of online shopping site business model as well as consumer’s motives, and concerns towards online shopping as opposed traditional grocery shopping. The author concludes that online shopping has a comparable advantage on service, convenience and product variety while traditional supermarkets tend to offer a better price. In addition, privacy and security as well as limitation on sensation (Consumers can’t touch the product)are also reasons why pure online grocery companies have a hard time attracting new customers.  Lastly, online grocery companies pay no less on fixed cost which they have to invest a large amount of capital on storage centers and to keep them in full operation all the time. With low brand identification, not very many shopping sites could survive through the early stage.

Part of the economics, or should I say all, is driven by buying and shopping. Therefore, when consumers start to make the shift onto the internet, the economic structure will also be changing as well. Although  the study was done as early as 2002, many predictions and analysts proved to be correct in today’s market. Grocery shopping comparing to cloth shopping has more barriers to get across. However, when meat and egg could also be sold online , the nothing-can’t-be-sold-online era has arrived.

Kimpiak, M., & Fox, M. (2002). Online grocery shopping: consumer   motives, concerns, and business models. First Monday , 8(12).

Online grocery shopping presentation.docx

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Posted on July 24, 2011, in Discussion Leader. Bookmark the permalink. 6 Comments.

  1. Jessie, I think your presentation was very interesting! I liked how you took the approach of online groceries instead of something as common as music or clothing.

    Because the study took place in 2000, it was interesting to see the development from 1995 to 2000, and onto today’s era. Much has changed, but many of the experiences and pros and cons have stayed the same. Convenience and flexibility are certainly factors that have allowed online grocery shopping to become popular and successful. I too have participated in the online market of grocery shopping. I could agree with the study’s findings that I was able to order at my convenience, and not have to worry about when or how I would get to the grocery store. In addition, with an online market for groceries, an economy can expand and grow in creative ways. I like how you touch upon the idea that the economy will change due to structure changes in trade.

    Although, there are cons to an online market. As it was discussed in the study, sometimes the quality of a product is not always up to standard. This is a gamble one would take placing a “blind order”. While I have never experienced such incidents, I know they occur. All this to say, that as time has passed, companies have altered the way they work to fit the consumers needs and desires. Therefore, this helps sustain customer satisfaction, and increases economic profit.

    Good job!!

  2. Your topic seems really interesting. I wish I was able to be part of the audience! The convenience of shopping online for groceries sounds absurd because you’re on the computer ordering food to be shipped to your house. For people that don’t have time to go to the market, this is ideal because it’s flexible for their schedule. For me, personally, I want to go to the market and look at my produce before I make the purchase even though the online grocery store probably guarantees fresh produce. I know that Amazon delivers groceries right to your door. It’s awesome that they’re doing that.One day I will try it.

  3. The idea of online grocery shopping is definitely an interesting one. I must admit that I while I had “known” about AmazonFresh I never really considered it, or online grocery shopping, to be that big of a deal.

    While I greatly enjoy the convenience of shopping for electronics, books, and other media via online outlets I still consider grocery shopping to be something I need to do in person. For some reason I like to be able to just see what food items I am purchasing. Given this presentation I may look into the terms and conditions of online grocery shopping to see if my worries are really “relevant”, since I always just immediately dismissed it as an option without much research.

    It will be enlightening, indeed, to see where the consumer goes with online shopping. More and more things are getting absorbed by the internet so it only makes sense that online grocery shopping will increase. How much though will be a cool thing to observe.

    Thanks for the great topic.
    (for Kathy, I just tried clicking on the smcguir wordpress button to submit instead of post comment, bah!)

  4. I think having the ability to buy anything online adds such a convenience in life. I nanny for a family that has two toddlers. The father works all day and the mother is now a stay at home mom. The mother orders groceries from Amazon Fresh because she finds it to be more difficult having to drag the children along to the grocery store. She is able to choose what time the groceries will come at and also has the option to have them dropped off on her doorstep or brought inside.

    I personally have not ordered groceries from online, but I have ordered many other things. The nice thing about online shopping is that there is no limitation as to what items are available. Just as you mentioned, “The author concludes that online shopping has a comparable advantage on service, convenience and product variety…” If I am looking for something in specific and a store is either out or does not carry that specific item, I will go online and order it, as opposed to running around store to store trying to find it.

  5. Interesting topic. I’ve toyed with the idea of ordering groceries online, but my eating habits change so much. I typically buy groceries based on what I plan to cook during the week, though I’m still new to cooking to enjoy and require the sway of interesting looking produce at the store. Online grocery shopping is a great choice for those who stick to a standard grocery list each week, but it doesn’t really offer the level of exploration and discovery that some people require.

    I’m not sure if online grocery stores offer a recommendation engine similar to that on, but a smart one would definitely rouse my interest. Recipe suggestions based on what groceries I have and what others have used would be great. A social aspect to eating would be great.

  1. Pingback: week 6 – Monday (25 July 2011) « COM300: Basic Concepts of New Media

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