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What factors affect Chinese consumers’ online grocery shopping? Product attributes, e-vendor characteristics and consumer perceptions

Qiujie Zheng, Junhong Chen, Robin Zhang and H. Holly Wang

China Agricultural Economic Review, 2020, vol. 12, issue 2, 193-213

Abstract: Purpose - In this paper, we provide a simple conceptual framework with empirical analysis to investigate the effect of product attributes and e-vendor characteristics that are potentially included in the online shopper’s information search on their online shopping behavior in China. Design/methodology/approach - This paper examines consumers’ online shopping frequency for food/grocery using an ordered logit model and for fresh food (a subcategory of food/grocery) using a two-part model, considering product attributes, e-vendor characteristics, and consumer perceptions and characteristics. Findings - The results show that product origin is an influencing factor in shopping for fresh food online, reflecting consumers’ growing interests in imported food or specialty food from other areas. Consumers are more likely to shop online for fresh food if they perceive online shopping as having a price advantage. But consumers who view price as a top factor are less likely to buy fresh food online frequently. Thus competitive prices might be a motive for online fresh food shopping, but consumers concerned about price do not necessarily shop frequently. Negative perceptions of product freshness reduce consumers’ likelihood and frequency of shopping for fresh food online. Concerns on food quality and e-vendors’ credibility prevent consumers from frequently shopping for fresh food online. Social and demographic characteristics also influence consumers’ decisions. Originality/value - This paper provides a better understanding of consumer’s online grocery shopping preferences and sheds light on policy and regulation design and implementation in the e-commerce industry, which will ultimately protect and benefit consumers.

Keywords: Online shopping; Food/grocery; Fresh food; China market (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2020
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