WALTHAM, Mass. -- A study now under way to gauge consumer attitudes on Internet grocery shopping will allow retailers and product manufacturers to gain insight into effective multi-channel strategies.
Gomez, the Internet research firm here that conducted the study, will unveil the results for the first time at the Supermarket News-Executive Technology Summit, March 25 to 27, in Pasadena, Calif. The study was commissioned by SN exclusively for the event.
According to Jill Frankle, Gomez's director of retail e-commerce, the study will be based on a random survey of around 3,000 Internet users. The survey will gather information about consumer attitudes on a variety of topics related to Internet shopping, from their likelihood to shop for various products on-line, to their opinions on Internet couponing and brand loyalty.
Industry professionals can use the results to tailor their approaches to on-line and off-line offerings, Frankle said.
"We're digging into the motivations for purchasing groceries on-line," Frankle told SN. "The food retailing industry and manufacturers can use the information to form their own strategies on how to use the Internet to form deeper relationships with their customers, try new products or capture and keep new customers."
Gomez has done similar studies gauging consumer attitudes on sporting goods and the automobile industry, Frankle said. This will be Gomez's first such attempt in the food industry, she said.
Retailers, Frankle said, should keep an eye on on-line grocery retailing, which, despite the troubles of various "pure-play" operators, is still a rapidly growing market. According to Gomez, around $563 million was spent by consumers on Internet grocery purchases in 2000, up nearly 300% from $187 million in 1999. Gomez projects that figure to rocket to $13.5 billion by 2004.
The majority of those sales will likely go to traditional brick-and-mortar retailers as well as manufacturers, Frankle said.
"With the struggles of the Internet pure-plays, the pace of investment slowed a little," Frankle said. "But there are many factors still in play. Traditional chains, such as Albertson's, are still building models, but the pressure is off a little."
Frankle will discuss the survey results March 26 as part of the "Capturing & Keeping the Customers' Attention On-line" workshop at the Supermarket News-Executive Technology Summit. The event will be held at the Ritz-Carlton Huntington Hotel & Spa in Pasadena.