Overcoming the barriers of shopping fresh foods online : An explorative study of the Norwegian online grocery market
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- Master of Science 
Online grocery shopping is a rather new phenomenon but has had considerable growth during the last few years. As a result of the pandemic, online grocery shopping had an uplifting trend due to the need for less physical contact, however it is still lagging behind other categories in terms of consumer adoption. Several researchers have identified barriers for shopping online, and the specific barriers for online grocery shopping are often related to buying fresh foods – as these products cannot be touched and evaluated by the customer before purchase. These barriers can lead to a lack of trust and higher perceived risk for the consumers, which might result in them not purchasing it. This creates the research question regarding how companies can reduce these barriers, to increase consumers’ purchase intention for fresh foods. Previous research suggests several ways to do this, and the following paper aims to explore these using different concepts of service offerings. The concepts are money-back guarantee, product reviews (positive and negative), real-time images and physical touch, which were tested through a randomized, online experiment. The data collected were analyzed by conducting an ANOVA, and other additional analyses such a multinomial logistic regression and frequency tables. The findings indicated no significant differences between the five concepts on the dependent variables trust, need for touch, purchase intention, overall liking, and perceived usefulness. Yet, the results showed that age had a significant negative effect on purchase intention, overall liking, and perceived usefulness, meaning that older participants scored lower on these variables. Further, consumers’ purchase frequency had a significant effect on all the dependent variables, with active shoppers scoring more positively on all dependent variables. Lastly, an interesting finding was related to the currently used service offering, money-back guarantee, which was most preferred when participants were shown all concepts together. The findings had managerial implications for managers as they showed that all concepts could be equally viable. They also highlighted the importance of customer heterogeneity and how to tailor the service offerings according to the different customers. In addition, the findings may also indicate no immediate need to invest in more complex solutions to overcome the barriers of shopping fresh food online, such as real-time images or physical touch solutions.
Masteroppgave(MSc) in Master of Science in Strategic Marketing Management - Handelshøyskolen BI, 2022