Researchers have found that younger consumers are increasingly opting for online grocery shopping (OGS) owing to convenience of digital payment and ‘ecologically conscious delivery’ of goods.
The research team comprised scholars from the Indian Institute of Management (IIM), Lucknow; IIM Nagpur; Amrita School of Business, Coimbatore; and IPAM Lisboa – Marketing Business School, jointly conducted a review study on OGS habits spanning the past two decades.
Over the past decade, online grocery shopping surged due to its availability and quick delivery, particularly appealing to smartphone users in metros.
According to the study, young consumers aged 21-40 have become the primary users of OGS, marking a shift from the elderly consumers as pointed out by research studies in the early 2000s.
The study, published in the journal, Electronic Commerce Research, analyses 145 research articles published between 2000 and 2023 across 27 countries.
It identified 50 theories employed to understand OGS habits, with a notable uptick in research between 2010 and 2014 during the online shopping boom.
Sustainability practices, such as reducing ‘food waste’ and efficient ‘e-grocery delivery routing,’ gained prominence after the launch of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in 2015.
Dr Arvind Shroff, Assistant Professor, Operations Management at IIM Lucknow and one of the authors of the research, said the study contributes to our understanding of offline to online business models, with a specific focus on OGS.
“The evolution of OGS is primarily driven by technological advancements such as smartphone penetration and internet accessibility, meeting consumers’ demand for choice and convenience. The study’s findings carry financial and operational implications for supermarkets adopting a dual-channel approach, integrating online and offline businesses,” he added.
The study also found the factors influencing OGS behaviour include age, gender, income, pricing, discounts, delivery fees, transaction costs, advertising, promotions, information quality, and sustainability measures.
Hassle-free online payments and peer ratings play a critical role in shaping consumer preferences for online grocery shopping. Overall, the traits of choice and convenience enabled by these online platforms for the shopping of groceries have positively impacted the purchase intentions of consumers.
The researchers recommend further qualitative research to better understand the online shopping phenomenon and suggest a mixed-method approach to explore underlying factors influencing OGS behaviour.
In conclusion, the study serves as a crucial reference point for businesses, policymakers, and academics seeking to understand and adapt to the changing consumer landscape.
IIM Lucknow, established in 1984, is the fourth in the prestigious IIM family of management schools to be established in India after IIM Calcutta, IIM Ahmedabad and IIM Bangalore.
In 2005, IIM Lucknow expanded its area of influence in the realm of management education by becoming the first IIM to set up a satellite campus exclusively for Executive Education at NOIDA in the Delhi-NCR region.
IIM Lucknow is accredited by AACSB and AMBA while its EQUIS Accreditation is ongoing. The institute features in the prestigious FT -100 Top Global Business schools for both the 2-year Flagship PGP program and One-year IPMX Program.
It is also consistently ranked amongst top business schools in the NIRF Rankings. IIM Lucknow was the first IIM to start a 2-year full time MBA program in Sustainable Management 8 years back. It also has a long-standing full-time MBA program in Agri Business Management.