Optimizing omni-channel grocery shopping : marketing communications strategies for independent grocery retailers
This study tests which incentives or messaging (if any) motivates consumers to start online grocery shopping with independent grocery retailers by applying the diffusion theory. Online grocery shopping is important to study because it has not been adopted as quickly as shopping online for other goods; however, the practice is expected by industry professionals, researchers, and grocers to grow quickly. Independent grocery retailers need to be studied because they compete in a crowded marketplace of traditional and non-traditional grocers like Amazon, Whole Foods Market, Walmart, and more; however, often are left out of research. By marketing an omni-channel retail strategy that includes online shopping with smart messaging and incentives, it is predicted that independent grocery retailers can continue to be successful instead of becoming a relic. This study asks the research question: Which marketing messaging, incentives, or combination of messaging and incentives delivered through email have the greatest effect on consumers' decision to try online grocery shopping? This study answers this research question utilizing the diffusion theory through the testing of seven hypotheses. The testing consisted of an experiment using email marketing messages sent to an independent grocery retailer's customer email list. Following the completion of the email experiment, the participating customers received an additional email with a follow-up survey to further analyze the customers' attitudes towards online grocery shopping adoption. The expected outcome predicted that emails with a combination of positive marketing messages and incentives will have a greater effect on adoption than emails without these marketing communication tactics, and that the combination of online customer reviews and free online grocery shopping service incentive will have the greatest effect on adoption. Discovering which incentives and messaging are most successful in persuading consumers to try online grocery shopping is important to study because it can save grocers marketing time and money. This is especially true for independent grocery retailers who typically have less marketing resources in comparison to their larger counterparts.
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