Online Grocery Shopping Behaviors

Behaviors involved in online grocery shopping

Personal thought

Online grocery shopping calls for consumers to make adjustments to their purchasing procedure. They can combine information contact with product contact and transaction, such as reading a review when selecting a product online and having the system deduct funds from their account at the same time. Actions do not have to happen sequentially, but the relevant shopping actions must still occur.

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Theoretical information

Two kinds of behavior are involved in online grocery shopping. The first category is overt consumer behavior, which is visible and quantifiable in terms of the number of actions consumers take. The other one is affective and cognitive behavior, which relies on non-visible actions and perceptions by a consumer. For online shoppers, there is a constant cognitive absorption that aids the identification and selection of groceries on a shopping website. Consumers rely on their perception to undertake a lot of information processing. Consumers take online shopping as a second experience; therefore, they keep on referring to their traditional shopping choices when buying items online (Peter & Olson, 2010).

How online grocery shopping compares with traditional shopping in terms of behavioral effort

Personal thought

Online shopping attracts consumers who prefer a hassle-free shopping experience. It does not require a lot of physical effort compared to traditional shopping. Therefore, online shoppers pick the method because it lets them do shopping with minimal effort.

Theoretical information

According to Peter and Olson (2008), marketing strategies are different and relate to segmentation, targeting, and positioning, which highlight the differences in behaviors of target consumers. For online shoppers, visual impact and descriptions of items are enough for them to formulate a choice, while many would rely on past cognitive experience to make subsequent choices about an item when shopping. Traditional shopping requires less behavioral effort because a consumer is presented with all cognitive options available at shopping time. One does not have to rely on people’s opinions, past experiences, or assumptions.

Types of consumers likely to value online grocery shopping from Peapod

Personal thought

Consumers with high funds access are likely to value the Peapod shopping experience because they can meet the cost of shipping. They will also go for brand name products that are easy to identify from their images online. Consumers looking for conservative brands and the thinkers who go by practical ideas will see sense in online shops. They can readily recognize the time savings available and quantify it with the costs associated with traditional shopping (Sheehan, 2010). The case study shows that Peapod customers mostly do their shopping twice a month, which is an indication of their satisfaction with the service.

Theoretical information

. Survivors, who are essentially brand-loyal consumers, are the most likely beneficiaries of grocery shopping because they make very few choices or none at all once they make up their minds about taking a particular product. Shopping online is fast and easy for them. Peter and OIson (2008) note that firms prefer to offer different brands for consumers with different funds access. Those with high purchasing power will go for high-end brands, while low earners with opting for low-end brands. The same case happens to Peapod, which is a high-end option for people who already have the means to engage in online shopping. Target consumers have broadband access and devices that allow them to go online (Peter & Olson, 2010).

My thoughts about the idea of online grocery shopping

Personal thought

Online shopping is good for both consumers and marketers, but it needs better strategies and implementation to work. I think online grocery shopping will only work for established store brands, given that most groceries are perishable goods.

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Theoretical information

Consumers rely on the trust of the store brand. Therefore, they are constantly looking for information about the store and its groceries (Griskevicius & Kendrick, 2013). Delays in delivery can affect product quality and consumer satisfaction, which can hurt the online grocery shopping experience (Dawson, 2003).

How it compares to simply eating in restaurants and avoiding grocery shopping and cooking altogether

Personal thoughts

Shopping online communicates a different message than going out and eating. It can signify preferences in consumption behavior. However, it does not provide a store contact experience for the consumer, which is as vivid as physically picking items and being served in a restaurant. The transaction for online shopping is fast and seamless, with the buyer being aware of what goes into the buying process.

Theoretical background

Online shopping is marketed to influence the thoughts of the customer, making it seem superior to traditional shopping. It focuses on shopping quality rather than the price of products. In the same way, restaurant service focuses on the eating experience rather than the prices. In the end, it all depends on the value that a consumer places on consumption and the disposition of the two options (Peter & Olson, 2010). The restaurant business has matured, with segments available for all kinds of consumers. On the other hand, online grocery shopping is still in its infancy, going by the number of consumers familiar with it (Peter & Olson, 2010). It attracts innovators, believers, and achievers. On the other hand, consumer groups, such as makers, who concentrate on functionality, will likely opt for restaurants. Nevertheless, the two options are quite different in the time it takes to deliver the product and the effort of the consumer. Therefore, information contact for consumers and the communication aspect of the respective businesses determine the way a consumer will use the service (Peter & Olson, 2010).

There are different behavior sequences that ensue for consumers opting between online grocery shopping and traditional restaurant eating. The first part is information contact, which is the pre-purchase stage. The experience is similar for both cases as information is available on traditional media, and consumers can listen, watch, or read about a restaurant or an online shop.

The second stage is the funds’ access stage, where the consumer gets money to make a purchase. Restaurants can offer card payment services, just like online shopping options. Consumers can also use other forms of funds, such as discount points. They can also alter the ingredients of their food in online shops to limit their costs, but they cannot do the same in restaurants with fixed menus. The store contact is the most diverse among the two options (Peter & Olson, 2010). Online shoppers can locate the store from a device they are using. Restaurants require most consumers to travel to the outlet.

The next stage in the sequential model of overt consumer behavior is product contact. Here, consumers locate the product and obtain it. Thereafter, consumers engage in transactions, where they pay for the product and then proceed to use it. For online shoppers, products are delivered to their homes, and any left over after consumption is still usable in some cases. Restaurants do not allow consumers to reuse meals after the initial payment and serving. It is easy for both restaurants and online stores to encourage consumers to tell others about the product experience, thanks to technology. However, online grocery stores are better because they can incorporate the review as part of the store or product experience (Peter & Olson, 2010).


Dawson, M. (2003). The consumer trap: Big business marketing in American life. Chicago, IL: University of Illinois Press.

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Griskevicius, V., & Kendrick, D. T. (2013). Fundamental motives for why we buy: How evolutionary needs influence consumer behavior. Journal of Consumer Behavior, 23(3), 372-386.

Peter, J. P., & Olson, J. C. (2010). Consumer behavior and marketing strategy (9 ed.). San Francisco, CA: McGraw-Hill Higher Education.

Sheehan, B. (2010). Basics marketing 02: Online marketing. La Vargne, TN: AVA Publishing SA.

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