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Future Grocery: A study of the e-commerce grocery basket business in Sweden

The era of the Internet has become increasingly important in our daily life. Internet channels are rapidly growing into sophisticated businesses. This thesis purpose is therefore to conduct an initial study on a newly approaching e-commerce business, namely the grocery basket business.

As there has not yet been much research in this field the overall aim is to contribute to the research in this business area. There are many who argue that in relation to the Internet and e-commerce fields there are two other important fields: business model and supply chain.

A qualitative approach is used, based on triangulation methodology including a multiple case study and a survey. The cases are two different types of e-commerce companies: brick-and-clicks and pure-players. An empirical investigation covering twenty interviews and a questionnaire with one thousand respondents has been conducted.

Findings supported by the interviews and the questionnaire reveal much knowledge about the grocery basket business. This are analyzed in relation to literature of business model and supply chain and according to the two cases of companies in the business.

The study concludes that there is a great deal of challenges facing the grocery basket business in both fields of business model and supply chain. In both cases it is a challenge to retain customers, flexibility for customers, competition and supply chain development. Regarding brick-and-clicks a major challenge is to make their physical channel and online channel work together.

Regarding pure-players a major challenge is their dependency of wholesalers. In addition, recommendations to these acknowledged challenges are benchmarking on other successful grocery companies and/or other successful e-commerce companies. Additional recommendation for pure-players is that they should cooperate with a brick-and-mortar company.

Finally, the study shows some decent potential in the business to reduce emissions. This by providing eco-friendly products with pre planned recipes to fit with the products, and having fewer products in stock.
Source: KTH
Author: Fallgren, Karl | Sundborg, Håkan

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