Enhancing the online grocery shopping experience for South African consumers: A study of challenges, preferences and strategies

Prof Padhma Moodley, Makhosazane Buthelezi

Vol 19 | Issue 2 pp. 70-86


 The surge of online grocery shopping in South Africa during the COVID-19 pandemic, marked by a significant increase in regular users by September 2020, resulted in a profound transformation of customer experience, impacting their expectations, preferences and purchasing habits. This shift has prompted retailers to adapt swiftly, emphasising the need for innovative strategies to meet the evolving demands of digital consumers. Utilizing the Technology Acceptance Model (TAM) as a theoretical framework, the research explores the intricate dimensions influencing consumers’ interactions with digital grocery platforms. Therefore, the study delves comprehensively into the online grocery shopping landscape for South African consumers, aiming to uncover online challenges, preferences, and enhancement strategies. Drawing qualitative insights from two focus groups, it explores the intricate dimensions influencing consumers’ interactions with digital grocery platforms. Challenges encountered by shoppers form a mosaic of findings. Modifying orders post-checkout proves complex, often involving time-consuming phone calls. Immediate out-of-stock notifications are lacking, disrupting seamless shopping, and Advocating for real-time stock updates. Compromised product quality upon delivery emphasises the need for customer reviews integrated into the platform. Delivery inconsistencies and safety concerns are prominent, endorsing larger vehicles and flexible options like click-and-collect. Participants expressed a desire for a unified multi-retailer platform, streamlining shopping across various retailers. The study’s culmination is a series of recommendations guiding customer-centric improvements including order adjustments, real-time stock communication, quality control, streamlined delivery, safety assurance, and integrated shopping. The findings have significant managerial implications for retailers who strive to strengthen their foothold and engender customer loyalty.

Keywords: Online grocery shopping, customer experience and strategies

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