A comparison of physical store versus online grocery shopping habits based on consumers’ environmental characteristics
AdvisorsBurek, Cynthia V.
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AbstractBackground: In the world today, consumers are surrounded by technologies that promise to redefine the way that they interact and shop. There is increasing interest in understanding the effects of computer mediated shopping environments. The internet was commercially born in the 1990s and it was widely seen as only an electronic communication media. During those years, the uptake of online grocery services was slower than anticipated and still in the early stage of e-grocery. In terms of e-grocery shopping, some of the main factors that influence consumer’s choice not to shop online for groceries are delivery charges, time available for shopping, less enjoyment, lack of internet access, barrier to social aspect and issues surrounding privacy and security. Food shopping practices are an important aspect of balanced diet. Evidence shows that local food environment and community nutrition environments (e.g. availability, cost, quality, etc.) significantly influence people’s food shopping decisions as well as long term health. Furthermore, a variety of micro-environments (e.g. schools, workplaces, homes, restaurants, etc.), macro-environments (e.g. food industry, government, societal attitudes, etc.), the level of education and the socioeconomic status have an important influence on people’s food shopping decisions too. Aims: The aim of this study is to compare online with in-store grocery shopping in terms of consumers' environmental characteristics and food shopping habits. Subjects & Setting: A total of n= 101, 84 women, 17 male, from age range 18-74 years, from 54 in-store and 47 the online participants were recruited at Wigan town centre (Manchester). Methods: A descriptive cross-sectional survey design was used to collect data retrospectively at a single time point to compare whether regular grocery shoppers who buy online significantly differ in terms of environmental characteristics and grocery shopping habits to consumers who buy in store. The research design used two different locations for this study, Wigan town centre and the hair salon (Celly’s hairstyle international) which is based in Wigan town centre. People who were in the hair salon while waiting for service were asked to participate in the study. The data was collected at different times of the day on different days and weekends in order to maximize the diversity of respondents. Institutional review board approval was obtained from the University of Chester (March, 2010) and permission was sought from the hair salon owner (March, 2010) [Appendix 5]. Results: The results obtained in this study showed that there was no variation between the online and the physical store participants in relation to environmental characteristics when shopping for food/groceries. However, even so, just under ¾ of all participants “use-re-useable carrier bags” (71.3%), “buy free range food” (63.4%), “buy local products” (59.4%), “buy fair trade” (41.6%), “buy organic food” (29.7%) and finally ”avoid buying food that is not in season” (8.9%) were considered as environmental issues when shopping for food/groceries. However, those aged range “35-54”, higher educated, who work “full-time”, live with “2” and “3” people in household are more engaged with issues relating to shopping behaviour. Conclusions: Overall this study result shows that are no significant associations between the food shopping habits, between the environmental characteristics who buy food/groceries via internet to those consumers who buy in the store. However, significant associations were found between socio-demographic features in relation to environmental issues (e.g. organically produced, free range, food miles, seasonality of food) as well as economic issues (e.g. price, special offers, quality of food, brand name). Participants from age range “35-54” or older, highly educated, who work “full time”, live with “2” and “3” people household were more concerned about environmental and economic issues when shopping for food/groceries compared to youngest aged “18-24”, the least educated, who were “unemployed”, those with “5” or “5+” people in their household.
PublisherUniversity of Chester
TypeThesis or dissertation
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