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Internet grocery shopping: a necessity, a pleasurable adventure, or an act of love? : a longitudinal study 1998-2003 of 23 Swedish households
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, School of Business.
(English)Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)
Abstract [en]



Shopping for groceries on the Internet has been an alternative for Swedish consumers since 1996. Despite a huge interest in this behavior from consumers, retailers and the media, Internet grocery shopping has not diffused among the Swedish consumers. Many of the Internet grocery distributors have shut down their business. At present there are only a few distributors still offering their consumers the opportunity of Internet grocery shopping. The majority of the Internet grocery shoppers returned to the physical grocery store after some time of Internet shopping.

   The aim of this study is to analyze changes in the behavior of shoppers as they become more experienced when shopping for groceries on the Internet. The aim is also to study why consumers disadopt Internet grocery shopping. In order to do so, a longitudinal study between the years 1998-2003 has been carried out, with 23 Swedish households. The results stem from a mix of qualitative methods, including in-depth interviews, diary-writing (referred to as introspection) and collages.

   The empirical material is analyzed from three different theoretical perspectives; a rational, decision-making perspective, an experiential perspective and an anthropological perspective, where shopping is treated as an act of love. Doing so it becomes obvious that Internet grocery shopping does not live up to consumer’s expectations. The results from the study show that Internet grocery shopping is far from being an activity performed for utilitarian reasons only. Shopping for groceries also implies getting the senses aroused. When applying an anthropological perspective, grocery shopping is an activity performed as an expression of love and other relationships. The Internet grocery store fails in meeting up to both utilitarian needs and emotional needs.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
, School of Business research report, ISSN 1400-3279 ; 2003:8
Keyword [en]
Internet, grocery shopping, longitudinal, consumers, in-depth interviews
National Category
Business Administration
Research subject
Business Administration
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-8635ISBN: 91-7265-698-0OAI: diva2:174693
Public defence
2003-06-13, Philipssalen, Kräftriket, hus 3, entréplan, Sal 224, Stockholm, 10:00 (Swedish)
Available from: 2009-02-24 Created: 2009-02-24 Last updated: 2009-02-24Bibliographically approved

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