Academy of Marketing Studies Journal (Print ISSN: 1095-6298; Online ISSN: 1528-2678)

Research Article: 2021 Vol: 25 Issue: 3S

A Study on Consumers attitude towards Online Grocery Shopping In Covid19 Pandemic

Ramkishen Yelamanchili, K J Somaiya Institute of Management, Somaiya Vidyavihar University

Bharati Wukadada, Associate Professor, K J Somaiya Institute of Management, Somaiya Vidyavihar University

Aparna Jain, S K Somaiya College, Somaiya Vidyavihar University

Poorvi Pathak, Student, K J Somaiya Institute of Management, Somaiya Vidyavihar University

Citation Information: Yelamanchili, R., Wukadada, B., Jain, A., & Pathak, P. (2021). A study on consumers attitude towards online grocery shopping in covid19 pandemic. Academy of Marketing Studies Journal, 25(S3), 1-10.


The COVID19 pandemic has thrown challenges across the world, which were unprecedented. Sudden lockdowns forced people to stay indoors due to the spread of the virus. Customers were looking for innovative options to shop, staying in the comfort of their homes. OGS, through the e-commerce platforms, took advantage of this situation. This research paper attempts to bridge the gap to identify the critical factors influencing the purchase of groceries through online portals. The paper seeks to understand the triggers which influence the adoption of OGS. The findings of the study have implications for the Indian retail industry. Limitations and future research are also discussed. The research gap identified by the researchers was that no studies were conducted to gauge the impact of the pandemic on OGS. The authors tested the proposed framework by using regression analysis in SPSS 25 and collected a sample of 380 using convenience sampling.


Online Grocery Shopping (OGS), t Customer Awareness, E-commerce, Consumer Behavior and COVID19.


E-commerce has radically altered the business perspective worldwide. In a developing country like India, its impact has been more evident due to the rise in internet users (Chatterjee, 2016). With 225 million online shoppers presently, it is predicted that by 2025, there will be 530 million people shopping online (Chandra, 2021). This underscores the idea that the E-commerce industry would strengthen its hold in the Indian economy. Factors contributing to this phenomenon are increasing consumer spending, rising urbanization and more disposable incomes of the working population of India (Choudhury, 2017).

Online grocery shopping (OGS) is the form of shopping where consumers can order their groceries online, while being at home (Adamides et al., 2006). The idea of online shopping gathered traction from various disciplines in the last few years (Pan et al., 2017). It is gaining momentum due to the convenience it provides to customers (Martin et al., 2019). It started with the western and southern parts of India and has now spread across the country. Online grocery stores have low set-up costs since no physical stores are required and vendors reduce their inventory costs by providing fast-moving goods (Sinha et al., 2015). To be successful in this industry, e-retailers must have efficient transport, distribution and inventory management (Turban et al., 2015). The major Indian e-grocery retailers are Big Basket, Amazon Fresh, Grofers, and JioMart.

The organized retail trade includes supermarkets, retail chains and other licensed retailers (Sinha, 2017). Coula & Lapoule, 2012 reported how OGS avoids physically going to the stores, waiting in checkout lanes and carrying heavy shopping bags. Therefore, reducing physical effort by a huge margin. Research suggests that online orders include larger portions of fresh products than offline orders (Munson et al., 2017). Factors influencing the growth of online sale of groceries are

1. No geographical boundaries

2. Time efficiency

3. Free delivery and discounts

4. Current Pandemic

However, the coronavirus has disrupted the global economy as we know it. Its impact can be seen in almost every industry, including the manufacturing and FMCG sectors. When the lockdown was announced in India, it led to the closing of all the offline retail stores. In such a scenario, retailers with omnichannel presence could cope with the situation, albeit facing different challenges. They found themselves temporarily overwhelmed. As the restrictions were lifted, the e-grocers slowly started picking up. Overall, the e-grocers expanded manifold because consumers started to order groceries, packaged food and other essential items online. Likewise, Amazon and Flipkart saw an increment in groceries and daily-need items.

The paper aims to study the main elements affecting the acceptance and the intention to continue purchasing online ,which characteristic of the product or payment method can determine a higher frequency of OGS .Finally other studies examined the influence of the factors in the process of OGS .Existing literature is concentrated on impact on consumer behaviour in developing countries but very little is known about the acceptance ,the purchasing decisions and diffusion in developing countries.

Literature Review

The retail industry has been through a massive transformation over the past few years. Goswami & Mathur, 2011 explained how this tremendous change took place in India's retail industry. With so many choices available to the consumers and their changing lifestyles, there has been a diversification in the consumer demographics. People who prefer speed and convenience usually opt for online shopping (Yu & Wu, 2007). The younger population is at the centre of online shopping and hence, remains the focal point of studying consumer behaviour. One key aspect is how long they have been internet users, as more technically sound people would be more ardent e-shoppers (VA Sumathi et al., 2016). IAMAI, 2019 reported that more than 50% of internet users belong to 20-40 years. This group belongs to the working class, which an essential factor for an e-grocery shopper. Even though the younger population is more likely to go for online shopping, in the current scenario, people from all age groups are indulging in it because of changing customer mindsets (Mitra, 2018). A young and educated female who works long hours and earns a stable income living in a small household would purchase food online (Dominici et al., 2021).

Brand preference of OGS

Different e-retailers are competing in this industry, although Big Basket, Grofers and Amazon Fresh are the most prominent players. The strength of Big Basket lies in offering flexible delivery timings to the customers, but quality and prices should be maintained for its long-term growth (Upadhyay, 2019). It was reported that the number of Big Basket orders grew by three times since March 2020, as opposed to pre-Covid times, while customer retention has increased by 60% (Economic Times, 2021). This proves how this segment is growing exponentially and, in the future, will expand even more. People also prefer Amazon for online shopping due to its quick deliveries and highly convenient application, ultimately leading to a seamless shopping experience (Muralitharan et al., 2018).

Problems faced by Customers During OGS

Despite its advantages, OGS is not an optimal choice for the customers yet. Kaur & Shukla, 2017 outlined how they choose to purchase their groceries via online applications once or twice, but they do not prefer this medium when compared with their local stores and thus, their decision of OGS remains situation based. Goswami & Mathur, 2011 highlighted five main problems that customers face while shopping for groceries online: safety, product quality, no bargaining, and the need to touch and feel the item and delivery time. (Ramus & Nielsen, 2005)

Problems faced by Retailers in the OGS industry

The online grocery segment remains niche as it has many operational difficulties. Overall, the margins earned in the food and grocery segment have been low as retailers provide lower prices via discounts (Jhaveri & Anantharaman, 2016). It has slow sales growth compared to other sectors like electronics, consumer deliverables, cosmetics, etc. Meshram, 2020 analysed the impact of covid-19 on the online grocery retailers as they faced the out-of-stock situation with no labour and transport during the lockdown. This effectively derailed their supply chain management.

Objective and Hypothesis of the study

This study focuses on the consumers in Mumbai region and studies their acceptance and inhibitions towards OGS. Consequently, the broad objective is to study the consumer behaviors during COVID19 towards online grocery shopping. However, the specific objectives are as follows:

1. To understand the demographics of people going for online grocery shopping in the COVID19 situation

2. To examine the association between different demographic factors and preference of grocery shopping through online

3. To investigate the factors that can influence consumer’s intention to purchase grocery online

4. To find the problems faced by the customer during online grocery shopping

5. The study has following research hypothesis based on the above objective.

1Hypothesis : The preference for OGS has been increased after COVID19.

2Hypothesis : There is an association between age group and preference for OGS..

3Hypothesis : Ease of navigation is important aspect for the customer for OGS.


The present study is based on primary data collected through google form in Mumbai. Convenience sampling was used for data collection. The questionnaire contained questions on demographic information of individuals, information on preference of grocery shopping, different aspects for online grocery shopping, different brand preference for online grocery shopping and problems faced by customer during online shopping. Apart from these, questionnaire has questions on why people don’t go for online grocery shopping.

The total response for questionnaire were 380.

Statistical Analysis

Univariate analysis has been done to show percentage distribution of different demographic factor, preference of online shopping before lockdown, preference of online shopping after lockdown, frequency of buying, monthly expenditure on buying online grocery. Paired t- test has been done to show the significant change in preference of online grocery from before lockdown to after lockdown. Crosstabulation with chi-square is done to check association between demographic factors and preference of online grocery shopping. One sample t- test is used to check whether different aspects affect online grocery shopping. Different kinds of graphs are also used to get visual representation of results. The significance level is taken 5% for this study. All kind of analysis done with help of SPSS 25 and excel.


Sample Characteristics

Table 1 shows the sample characteristics according to demographics. Around 36% of respondents are less than age 25. The male respondents are more than female respondents. The proportion of married respondents are higher than single. 79% of respondents are working people. Only around 37% respondents have monthly income more than 50k. From Tables 2-4, one can say that the number of people preferencing online grocery shopping has been significantly increased after COVID19.

Table 1 Sample Characteristics According to Demographics
Characteristics Percent Frequency
Age < 25 36.6 139
  25-50 63.4 241
Gender Male 56.3 214
  Female 43.7 166
Marital Status Single 29.7 113
  Married 70.3 267
Occupation Student 8.2 31
  Job 78.9 300
  Other 12.9 49
Monthly Income < 50k 63.2 240
  51k and above 36.8 140
Total     380
Table 2 Preference of People Buying Grocery Before Lockdown
Preference Percent Frequency
Online 20.3 77
Offline 79.7 303
Total 100 380
Table 3 Preference of People Buying Grocery After Lockdown
Preference Percent Frequency
Online 67.1 255
Offline 32.9 125
Total 100 380
Table 4 Paired T Test to Showing Changes in Preference Before and After Lockdown
  Mean Difference Std. Deviation Std. Error Mean p-value
OGS before lockdown-after lockdown -0.468 0.5 0.026 <0.001

Background Characteristics and Preference of Online Grocery Shopping

Tables 5-7 represents association with background characteristics with online grocery shopping preference. Around 85% of people of age group “25 plus year” prefer online grocery shopping Females are more likely to prefer for grocery shopping through online. Unmarried are less likely to go for online shopping than married. 32.3% of students prefer online shopping.

Table 5 Association of Different Background Characteristics with Preference of Online Grocery Shopping
Characteristics Percent Frequency Chi-square (p-value)
Age 25 and less yr 36 139 <0.001
  25 plus yr 85.1 241  
Gender Male 58.4 214 <0.001
  Female 78.3 166  
Marital Status Single 44.2 113 <0.001
  Married 76.8 267  
Occupation Student 32.3 31 <0.001
  Job 73.3 300  
  Other 51 49  
Monthly Income < 50k 64.6 240 0.171
  51k and above 71.4 140  
Table 6 Percentage of Frequency of Buying Grocery Online
Frequency of Shopping Percent Frequency
Daily 3.5 9
Thrice a week 8.2 21
Twice a week 27.5 70
Weekly 60.8 155
Total 100 255
Table 7 Percentage Distribution of Monthly Expenditure on Buying Grocery Through Online
Amount (INR) Percent Frequency
<500 3.1 8
500-1000 27.1 69
1001-1500 20.8 53
1501-2000 18.4 47
2000 and above 30.6 78
Total 100 255

Factors affecting Online Grocery Shopping

Table 8 shows descriptive of factors affecting online grocery shopping. Around 44% people believe that prices are most important factors, while 7% believe that it doesn’t matter. 48% people say that Ease of navigation is important factor affecting online shopping and only 6.3% believe it doesn’t matter. 52.2% people found social distancing most important factor affecting online shopping, whereas only 1.6 % feel that it doesn’t matter. From Table 9, all factors are significantly affecting online shopping.

Table 8 Descriptive of Factors Affecting Online Grocery Shopping
Factors Most important Important Less important Doesn't matter
Better Prices 112(43.9%) 107(42%) 18(7.1%) 18(7.1%)
Ease of Navigation 94(36.9%) 122(47.8%) 23(9%) 16(6.3%)
Product Variety 92(36.1%) 138(54.1%) 8(3.1%) 17(6.7%)
Peer Recommendation 26(10.2%) 82(32.2%) 69(27.1%) 78(30.6%)
Same Day Delivery 92(36.1%) 110(43.1%) 33(12.9%) 20(7.8%)
Social Distancing 133(52.2%) 105(41.2%) 13(5.1%) 4(1.6%)
Delivery Fee 69(27.1%) 107(42%) 51(20%) 28(11%)
Table 9 Result of T-Test to Show Factors Affecting Significantly to Online Grocery Shopping
Factors t df p-value
Better Prices 39.3 254 <0.001
Ease of Navigation 37.5 254 <0.001
Product Variety 48.3 254 <0.001
Peer Recommendation 13.7 254 <0.001
Same Day Delivery 31.1 254 <0.001
Social Distancing 59.6 254 <0.001
Delivery Fee 23.8 254 <0.001

Brand Preference

Table 10 shows brands preference of customer for online grocery shopping. The Big Basket is most preferred brand for online shopping with 78.43%. Amazon fresh is second most preferred brand having choice of 75.29% of people. Nature’s Basket is least preferred brand for grocery shopping with only 12.55%.

Table 10 Brand Preferences of Customer for Online Grocery Shopping
Brands Percent Frequency
Big Basket 78.43 200
Grofers 62.75 160
Dmart Ready 40.78 104
JioMart 40.78 104
Amazon fresh 75.29 192
Nature's Basket 12.55 32
Flipkart Supermarket 15.69 40

Problems during Online Shopping

Table 11 revels percentage of customer having different problems during online shopping. The most reported problem during online shopping is not availability of product. Delivery time is second most problem reported by customer with 43.9%. 3.1% customer faced problem during payment stage. 17.3% customers are not happy with customer services. Only 1.6% customer are not comfort with delivery charges.

Table 11 Problem’s Customer Face During Online Grocery Shopping
Problems Percent Frequency
Product not available 48.6 124
Product quality not as expected 40.8 104
Delivery time issues 43.9 112
Unable to return/exchange items once delivered 34.5 88
Payment issues 3.1 8
Poor customer service 17.3 44
App not working 6.3 16
Services not available at our location 3.1 8
High delivery charges 1.6 4

Findings, Discussions, and Implications

Our study suggests that the number of people purchasing their groceries online has increased since the pandemic and social distancing is a significant reason for their online buying decision, as evident in (Kashyap, 2020) and (Jain & Sayyed, 2020). This answers our first hypothesis that preference for online grocery shopping has been significantly increased after COVID19. All the demographic factor of this study is significantly affecting preference of grocery shopping through online except income of person. This answer’s our all hypothesis regarding demographic factors.

In regards with hypothesis of influencing factors, the study found that discounted prices, Ease of navigation, product variety, peer recommendation, delivery fee, social distancing and same-day delivery attract the customers. This result is in line with research conducted by (Sathiyaraj et al., 2015), (Sreeram et al., 2017), and (Kian et al., 2018). Regarding customer apprehensions towards online grocery shopping (OGS) we deduced that product quality and high delivery cost are the common reasons. This supports the work of (Ramus & Nielsen, 2005), (Hanus, 2016) an (Mkansi et al., 2018).

The findings of this research have implications for the Indian retail industry, which includes e-commerce, government, researchers, and other stakeholders for increasing the adoption of OGS in the pandemic times regarding the Indian context. This study will offer insights to the grocery retail service providers in their day-to-day business and improve customer intention behavior using OGS.

Future Scope and Limitations of the Study

This study is conducted to acquire deeper insights into various antecedents of customers behavioral intention to adopt OGS.. There are limitations to this study that needs scholars to investigate the constructs in different geographical and consumer contexts which helps in generalizing the results.

The authors try to conceive a conceptual framework to understand the comprehensive insights on behavioral intentions of OGS users. Further, in this study, the moderating effect of demographic variables such as gender, age, income levels, and education were not tested which could be considered in the future studies concerning OGS adoption.

This study can be extended to other technical services such as mobile wallets, social media usage and more variety of products offered as services for developing markets like India. Future studies can also incorporate variables like social influence, status symbol, service quality and other facilitating conditions to get a broader perspective.


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