Background to the research
The online grocery shopping has emerged as the key battleground for the UK retail industry. On one hand, the online retail has grown at least 10 times of the total retail, and nearly accounting for 15% of the grocery market (ONS 2019). On the other hand, the recent breakout of Covid19 has further accelerated the demand for customers, who are using the online sale to reduce the contacts and thus reduce the likelihood of infections. With the growing social and technological transformation, it is expected the online sales are only going to play an even greater role in the future (Singh et al 2019; BBC 2020). Thus better understanding for the areas, particularly in the areas of consumer decision and selection could prove huge value to different stakeholders. According to Kantar (2019), this has not only seen the impact for likes of Ocado to boost the success, but also see that see existing supermarkets such as Tesco and Asda to invest into the online sale
While there are extensive range of the studies covering the online retail, they are much more isolated focusing on the individual areas. The research has there the industry lacking the consideration for the comprehensive insights on consumer behaviours and associated influencing factors for the online retail. Thus the research is going to focus in the areas to provide the huge benefits to all stakeholder (Driediger and Bhatiasevi 2019)
Research gap: Extensive research for online shopping, lacking the consideration for comprehensive review for consumer influencing factors, thus research is going to cover the academic gap with full review for consumer perceptions towards the selection of online shopping grocery providers
Research question and objectives
Research aim is to identify, evaluate and discuses the influencing factors for UK consumers on selecting their online grocery shopping
The research objectives are proposed as:
- To understand the core concept for online grocery shopping and UK consumer decision
- To identify the key influencing factors on their selection of online grocery shopping
- To critically discuss and evaluate the implication for the influencing factors
- To make recommendations to stakeholders such as supermarkets to improve their attractiveness and competitiveness in the highly dynamic UK online grocery market
- What are the key influencing factors for UK consumers online grocery shopping?
- How these factors influence the decision makings?
- How the business could capture the market success for the study?
Research methodology and approach – followed research onion theory (Saunders et al 2017) per figure above (right)
Research philosophy: Research is highly objective, and thus positivism research philosophy is suitable, conducting the defined research, with independent review of researcher in highly reliable manner. The reason for selecting this is because research topic is highly objective with existence of extensive literatures, prove suitability for the research (Saunders et al 2017)
Research approach: Research is going to use deductive approach, collecting the targeted data to prove the pre-defined frameworks. The reason for selecting deductive is not only because it aligns with positivism research philosophy, but also it could use extensive literature (in above framework) to create the research framework, to conduct the additional studies within the framework (Saunders et al 2017)
Research choices: mixed research choices including quantitative and qualitative measures, primary analysis to maximise the finding. Primary research delivers the bespoke and tailored information and data, leading to enhanced interpretation and analysis
Research strategy: questionnaire survey is the main research strategy for the study, complemented with review for existing studies and literatures. Questionnaire is the key to collect the opinions and perceptions from targeted participants such as UK consumers to understand their purchase decision. This delivers the valid insights for collecting the information and data in the relevant manner to lead the study.
Research design: questionnaire is going to be designed and piloted according to more extensive review. This mainly covers the participants demographic, as well as scoring question for gaining the opinions of questions. On top of that, open questions are also included to capture the qualitative view. The questionnaire is going to be piloted by friends to ensure clarity and lack of ambiguity (Saunders et al 2017). The design enables the more bespoke and tailored data collection for the consumer perception, delivering the bespoke data analytics and discussion
Data collection and analysis: research targets 200 to 250 questionnaires, to ensure the results are representative. The research is going to survey the diversified sample to give good representation of the UK consumer. Questionnaires are first going to be distributed to friends via email or Facebook invitation, and they will be encouraged to send the invitations to their friends and families on maximising the snowballing impact. Then the filled questionnaire to be transferred from returned email to Excel. From data analysis perspective, research is going to use Excel to conduct the analysis, including the demographic analysis, alongside with descriptive statistics, correlation and regression analyses. The quantitative finding is going to discuss with the appropriate research studies, driving the critical discussion and evaluation
Research ethics: research ethics play the key role to provide the ethical governance protection focus in areas of data protection, fully informed consents, participants anonymousness and other areas (Bryman 2014). For primary research, study is going to ensure the ethical compliance with the research before leading the study forward.