A Conceptual/Critical Analysis of Online Grocery Shopping in the Post-Recovery Internet Economy: Challenges and Future Prospects


Global Internet participation has grown at a very fast pace - both in terms of the number of internet users as well as the amount of time spent online. This has encouraged the steady growth of global e-commerce, despite the earlier setbacks of the dot-com crisis. Online grocery retail has been one aspect of B2C e-commerce that has largely disappointed expectations managing to capture only a marginal fraction of the overall grocery trade. As a consequence, the worldwide failure rate for e-grocers, even in this post-recovery internet economy, has been extremely high leading to the suspicions that there are fundamental weaknesses in the model. This paper explores the challenges facing online grocery ventures ultimately concluding that these barriers pose a credible challenge to the viability of the pure-play (online only) form of the model. Instead evidence from the few e-grocers who are profitable today would suggest that online grocery trade is most effectively implemented in conjunction with physical grocery retail stores (the bricks and clicks form of the model).



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International Journal of Business and Public Administration