Online Grocery Shopping Website

In this era of modernization, it is now very difficult for the food shops to sustain without having a web shopping portal. To match with the changing patterns of customers, Miou Co is planning to open an online shopping website for its grocery store products. This report presents the market research of shopping for habits and consumer attributes of customers with respect to online grocery shopping. It also reveals the marketing implications for the business when it opts for opening an internet shopping website.

The general market trends was conducted by both the methods i. e. extra research (Literature review) and principal research (Targeted Group and In-Depth Interviews). The major conclusions from the research claim that customers favor online shopping when compared with offline shopping for grocery products given that some constraints are looked after. The customers across age-groups have different views in terms of these traits for buying online, but signify one self-explanatory trait they are happy to offer an online shopping experience as it has many advantages over offline shopping.

The general market trends results suggest to Miou Co. Ltd. that it will open a web based shopping website. The major marketing implications identified by the study are

The marketing efforts should give attention to building the brand and brand understanding among the clients as trust is one of the prerequisite of online shopping.

The marketing text messages should give attention to payment security, information precision, fast and safe delivery of products and online shopping advantages.

The company should come up with a marketing campaign for the website to attract the clients to the website.

Introduction

Present era is an period of globalization where the world is considered to be flat. The era of globalization has enter into existence largely due to internet growth and internet is considered to be the speediest way of communication. Through internet an individual can have its presence at any corer of the world. In fact, the world of internet differs from the real world and therefore it is named as a exclusive world. People are moving into this digital world through networks and not even people but several companies also have made their existence in the digital world utilizing the internet increase (Cohen, Manion & Morrison, 2007). Internet is not only used to spread awareness about the products but now it is also explicitly used for shopping. Online shopping is new shopping address for the customers and today they can do everything on internet whatever they do while visiting a standard brick and mortar shop.

As e-commerce and online shopping is becoming popular and profitable, many companies are actually entering this electronic world for starting their online shopping portal. Almost every business in developed countries provides an option of buying products through internet because this helps in increasing the client platform. Same is the case with the Miou Co. Ltd. which really is a national supermarket chain in Australia. The corporation is aiming to open a web based grocery shopping website so that customer can also shop through their website. This is an essential step for the company as opening an online shopping website is a very expensive and complicated process unlike a normal street-shop (Creswell, 2002). Internet outlets make life of customers more comfortable but at exactly the same time cost associated with beginning of internet retailers are also high. Thus proper evaluation must be carried to be able to attain a realization of beginning online shopping website.

This report will include the evaluation of customer buying tendencies and also research of the prospective segment. This record will majorly package with the in depth analysis of the client traits as well as the perception of these customers towards online food shopping. Secondary research is performed by exploring scholarly articles and journals on marketing and research. This can help in developing literature overview of the presented topic. Then principal research is conducted to investigate the client buying behavior and perceptions towards online food shopping. Analysis of the reactions of the principal research conducted helps in deriving on any solution as well as it can help in providing the recommendations to the Miou Co. Ltd. for keeping and acquiring new customers as well as marketing implications.

Literature Review

Internet increase has presented shoppers a fresh address and companies yet another point of contact through online shopping. Online shopping is considered to be unavoidable for the firms which directly offer with customers because of their daily needs. Thus the main categories which are extremely successful in increasing the customer bases are fashion products, digital items, consumer durables, grocery items, computer accessories and peripherals. They are the major categories that have huge number of customers on internet also (Piercy, 2006). Online shopping is thus regarded as a very profitable option by the firms which have existence as offline stores across any region. The clients earlier used to visit local outlets for fulfilling all their needs but it was very difficult for many who were very busy in their daily schedules. These customers wished to have an appropriate life where they don't have to visit these shops but nonetheless they are able to purchase the products. Thus the best answer for these customers is to own shopping through online medium and by accessing internet (Leedy & Ormrod, 2005).

Online shopping websites have seen an exponential growth and there are many companies in this sector which don't have any offline outlets but exclusive occurrence on internet. These are the companies that happen to be dedicatedly providing products to customers through internet. There are plenty of advantages for the firms to get involved in the ecommerce and online shopping with no physical presence (Thoits & Virshup, 2007). Some of these advantages are as follows

There is not any investment on land and interior decor while setting up a web shopping portal when compared with establishing a brick and mortar shop. The major chunk of the money invested in starting a normal offline shop is invested in acquiring land and growing of shop and its interior design. This cost of acquiring land is absent regarding online shopping. The expense of land will come in hundreds of thousands if the shop must make existence at many locations in a country. Whereas in case there is online shopping portal, this charge is compensated with few dollars allocated to buying a website name (Lawrence, 2005).

An online shopping website can be utilized from any place wherever internet penetration is available. This means that simultaneously, the portal of online shopping can be utilized anywhere and anytime. Whereas in the case of traditional retailers it is highly difficult for the dog owner to open shop at every city in the country. It has huge cost implication and even if a store has a string of stores then also the owner cannot think of starting more than 100 stores together.

Online shopping is accessible to the customer every day and night and 365 days and nights in a calendar year. Whereas this is not possible with the traditional stores as the stores stay closed on getaways and majority of the stores are shut down in nighttime (Denzin and Lincoln, 2004). Thus giving huge benefits and freedom to online shopping stores as they a customer is free to get anything night and day.

Overhead cost which contains electricity, maintenance and staff salary is high of the traditional stores whereas it's very less in the case of online shopping portals. This escalates the profit margin of the web shopping portals several folds when compared to the original stores and also the breakeven is reached at faster rate.

These are some of the major benefits that are reaped while starting an online shopping website when compared with starting of traditional shops. Thus these benefits and advantages acts as motivational tools for encouraging online shopping business. They are the benefits for the entrepreneurs who start their own online shopping site (Hinton, 2004).

There are certain more factors which need to be thoroughly checked to analyze and conclude whether it is necessary for the business to get their own online shopping portal. In the age of internet and globalization, nearly every country is present in the digital world but the online ecommerce presence is also centered upon the type of product to be sold and the characteristics as well as buying pattern of the potential customers. May be the merchandise can be successfully catered to the customers through online however the buying design of the clients would not allow them to buy the products online. In growing countries like Bangladesh, India, Pakistan, Thailand, Philippines and many under developed countries, the penetration of internet is very less (Ridgeway & Johnson, 2000). Hence the products which are effectively retailing in developed nations like United States of America and UK won't sell properly in expanding and poor countries. Thus from the above example it can be clearly attributed that there are several other factors which needs to be observed while considering on the guidelines which are incredibly vital for the success of the online shopping portal. Some of the major parameters which have been considered as essential for the success of the online shopping portals are talked about in detail as follows (Loken, Kim & Monga, 2006)
Customer Buying Behavior: This is the main and impactful parameter which is part of the decision of starting of an online shopping website as end customers will be the persons who'll earn the business enterprise and income. The buying routine is very important to be analyzed properly and without bias so the feasibility of the website can be computed. Customer buying action is composed of the propensity of the clients to buy products online. This propensity is goes up because of several reasons which can be

Customer want to compare and check about the product at several different place and then he makes his buying decision after choosing from several other alternatives which are present. This decision is based majorly on checking the prices as well as reviews. Currently most of the online shopping websites have a reviews section for the product and these reviews are compiled by the users (Tsushima & Burke, 2009). Thus customers are highly based mostly upon the reviews of the clients who are employing that product.

Other buying decision factor is price which may be compared across other online shopping websites. It really is a general view that customers tend to get same product from any store which is offering least price or the same product at cheapest price. On internet sites, the purchasers have variety of websites offering products and thus the customers choose the merchandise which is offered by least price (Johnson, Garbarino & Sivadas, 2006).

The customer also bank checks about the verification as well as credibility of the web shopping portal. There are numerous cases where the online shopping websites are scam and therefore customers end up losing their money. This is very widespread deception or rip-off in many countries because it is easy for the website owners to conceal their id and so cheat the customers. In fact the customers should also confirm whether the product being sent by the company is same as described in the website else they will conclude paying higher cost for a local material made product.

These are a few of the critical guidelines which adjust the buying patterns pattern of the clients. Hence any business while starting their website should be able to review their customer buying pattern.

Brand Recognition: Shopping on internet is super easy if the brand or company from which is the shopping has been done is a well known brand. Thus it can be said that customers feel safe if the organization name is a favorite name in the country and thus the reliability issues are properly captured (Khare & Inman, 2006). It's very easy for the customers to look on the web shopping website of the brand which is known to them plus they have even used the merchandise by purchasing it from traditional store. Hence a national supermarket chain which is a known in any given country will definitely have mass audience to check out the web shopping too identical to they go to the brick and mortar shop.

Psychographics: The Psychographics is the analysis of the characteristics of the personality, features, values and lifestyle of the customers. This is an extremely important parameter which is employed by the marketers for segmentation of the mark market. The major area which is being focused by Psychographics is passions, activities and thoughts and these guidelines help in analyzing the lifestyle and beliefs of the clients. For example, People of South Korea are considered to be world's most hardworking people on earth. They would like to save time wherever it's possible. Thus their lifestyle does not allow them to invest much time in food supermarkets subsequently they want to keep them occupied in work. Thus one of the national supermarket chains in South Korea developed an idea of selling food products on the go to the clients through mobile program. This is one of the fantastic strategies to increase the customer wallet's talk about and also retaining as well as acquiring clients (Goebert & Rosenthal, 2002). This plan was purely based upon the approach to life of target portion and hence it can be said that the psychographics study was effectively conducted.

Internet usage regularity: For the success of online shopping portals, the clients must have high internet usage frequency (Mls and Huberman, 1994). It never happens that any customer use internet simply for shopping. Thus internet penetration and internet consumption is also a known and crucial element in deciding the fate of online shopping site.

Security concerns: Most the population know about the fraudulent techniques on internet like hacking and phishing which will make a user prone to some form of cyber strike. While purchasing any product on internet, a individual has to give information about credit or debit credit card quantity or internet bank passwords that happen to be highly private information (Couper, 2008). If these details is reached by some other person then they can monetarily harm an individual. Thus a lot of the online shopping websites have secured network collection and even certified SSL lines provided by different gateways. These gateways provide secure form of transaction of money in one account to another. Thus users should be produced aware of these security standards and also all the web shopping websites should firmly follow all the security actions in order to maximize customer wallet share.

These are some of the major parameters that assist in deciding the success of online shopping portals and so marketing managers should think about examining all the above parameters meticulously while producing online shopping portals.

Research Methodology

The research has been conducted by the marketing supervisor of Miou Co. Ltd. which is a national supermarket chain in Australia. Considering the emergence of online shopping websites, Miou Co. Ltd. also needs to establish its own online grocery shopping portal.

Research Problem: The research has been conducted for Miou Co. Ltd. to understand the marketing implications of beginning of online shopping website. The research will mainly analyze the customer buying tendencies and perceptions towards online shopping.

Research Purpose: The research objective models a avenue for the research conduct and this objective assists with clarification about the main reason which needs to be brought out by this research. In this report the research goals can be discovered as

To know the customer understanding towards online shopping of grocery items.

To analyze Customer buying tendencies when they turn internet shopper.

These research aims are the center focus of the research and it will help in watching the mark audience as well as increasing the new and retained customers.

Research Proposition: The research proposition or research plan/ proposal details about the entire scenario of the research. The research is based on the primary research i. e. data is collected directly from the clients (Leedy & Ormrod, 2005). The marketplace research tools working in this report is focused group discourse and depth interviews to know the client characteristics as well as buying patterns.

Significance of Market Research

The market research is conducted to comprehend the customer buying tendencies and their decision making patterns while shopping on internet. The customers are also examined to learn the personality traits so the company can aim for the appropriate audience. The forex market research will clear all the confusions from top managements regarding the feasibility as well as profitability of the web grocery shopping website.

Focus Group Design

The concentrate group is a group discussion conducted among a group of 15-25 people who signifies the target section of the company (Deaux, 2002). Inside the focused group dialogue, there is a moderator who reveals the questions which needs to be talked about in focus group. These questions are highly relevant to the research objectives. All of the respondents are then absolve to discuss their view in the talk and the moderator analyses the talk as well as information.

For this research, there were 3 target group discussions held and there have been 20 members representing the same aim for section but different age group. 1st concentrate group discussion occurred between people from age 18-25 years, 2nd took place between 26-40 years and 3rd discussion occurred with people above age group of 40 years.

The questions asked in the emphasis group were as follows

How often you all shop online and what exactly are the most offering categories?

What degree of security should be present in the online shopping websites?

What are major advantages as well as negatives of using online shopping website?

Why will a person buy grocery store products through online shopping website?

What will be the chief factors which presents resistance while buying products online?

Ethical Issues relevant to Focus Groups

The major ethical issue with focus group discussion is the fact that id of respondents is exposed and thus this is an impediment for unbiased response (Cooley, 2009). Respondents are doubtful whether they should respond genuinely or they need to say whatever moderator wishes to hear. In such a research, this ethical issue is treated by telephonic focus group discussion. That is a fresh form of talk where it is not necessary that respondent is present physically thus it can help in unbiased thoughts and opinions move in the discourse.

Findings from Focus groups

Majorly the responses from all the three target communities were coherent with slight change. The major points which surfaced are the following

In Australia, majority of the population has awareness about the internet and therefore they know about using internet for shopping.

The major factors while choosing online shopping website is brand name, reviews and quality of product and security.

Almost everyone has an opinion that they can choose to buy only packed products from online supermarket because they don't really want in which to stay billing queues and want to spend their time in other recreational activities.

Apart from the convenience and comparison of prices instantly the major good thing about online shopping is home delivery. However the major downside of e-commerce is the fact customer cannot touch or feel the merchandise before the ownership, hence potential for scams is high.

In-Depth Interviews

These are the type of interviews that happen to be conducted to possess confidential, secure and private information regarding the research aim (DeVellis, 2003). These interviews are usually carried out at the house of interviewee to get natural area for unbiased thoughts. In-Depth Interviews in this research was conducted over 15 respondents by moving in their house and taking almost 1. 5 hrs to complete. Respondents were given ample amount of time to reply to the questions and creating their ideas.

The major items that have been asked in the interview are as follows

Are you comfortable with online shopping and if yes then what are the categories you like. If no, then what exactly are the reasons for not being comfortable?

Major advantages and disadvantages related to online shopping?

What will be the benefits from shopping online?

Why would you like or not prefer shopping food products through website?

You like to go traditional retailers for shopping or prefer to shop on internet?

Ethical Issues relevant to In-Depth Interviews

The major moral issue in the In-Depth Interviews is usually that the interviewer should conceal the info about the respondent and also about the information (Gaines, 2005). He should provide the research of the interview rather than giving uncooked information which was carefully treated in this research.

Findings from In-Depth Interviews

The conclusions from these interviews were almost identical to that of concentrated discussions but the depth of information is much more in cases like this. Findings are as follows

Almost all the respondents were more comfortable with online shopping format because of high internet penetration. The majority of the categories for online shopping are electric items and fashion as well as clothing products.

The major influencer for online shopping is lifestyle and the decision of product is high in online shopping format. But the disadvantages in case of online shopping are security issues, credibility of the merchandise offered. Also the touch and feel factor is absent in this case.

The major advantage is the fact that respondents don't have to visit literally for buying even a one item as well as they can devote saved the perfect time to do other beneficial activities.

Majority of the respondents would like to shop online grocery to save lots of their time however they will favor shopping only from set up corporate labels as it helps in building trustworthiness.

Marketing Implications

According to the results, the company should definitely launch the online shopping portal. This can help them in increasing the client base. But several things which need attention are

The brand of the web website should be highly relevant to the corporate name "Miou Co. Ltd. " as it'll develop trustworthiness. Marketing efforts have to be directed to do this.

The marketing campaigns should give attention to the benefits like 100% secure transfer and quickest way of buying food while doing alternative activities.

Company should also come up with several offers which will benefit the end customers and thus de-motivate these to go other food markets. Price plays a significant role in buying decision making.

Limitations of Research Methods

The research work being conducted was driven very carefully but also there are certain limitations that happen to be the following

The sample size for the interview and focus group was less and therefore the sampling population can't be attributed as complete focus on segment characteristics (Linville, 2007).

The moderator and interviewer are the only persons accountable for the info quality as well as unbiased opinions. Thus there could be chances that the inferred information might be incorrect or biased according to judgment of researcher.

The environment for focus discussion was manufactured as it was conducted through mobile phone (Kollock, 2004). Thus there are chances that artificial environment has improved the response of the respondents.

Conclusion

The research is being conducted for the business Miou Co. Ltd. which is national supermarket string. This research seeks to analyze the client buying pattern as well as their perceptions towards online shopping and specifically online grocery shopping. The research is conducted as main research and the data gathering tools applied is concentrate group conversations as well as in-depth interviews. This helped in gathering the info about the customer perception, characteristics, benefits and drawbacks of online shopping and the items which functions as an obstacle to online shopping. Depending upon the analysis, marketing implications are carved which can only help the top management in designing the marketing promotions for success of online grocery shopping website.

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