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Title: The internet as a retail marketing communication channel for identifying market opportunities for UK grocery retailers
Author: Aruleba, Samuel Olasehinde
Awarding Body: London South Bank University
Current Institution: London South Bank University
Date of Award: 2009
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This study explores the suitability and the potential of the Internet as a retail marketing communication channel for the UK-based grocery retailers. Grocery retail chains have grown in relative importance since they become commonplace in the UK. This study examines three related aspects of marketing via the Internet including: the Internet as a retail marketing tool; the Internet as a retail marketing communication medium; and the Internet as a retail marketing distribution channel. These three examined aspects in the study are significantly important in successful marketing via the Internet. The purpose of the study is to examine the nature of UK grocery retailing on the Internet. The primary aims are to develop an understanding of how the Internet is used by the UK grocery retailers to interact with consumers and to explore the extent of its adoption within the UK grocery retail sector. The main objectives are: (i) to assess the general extent of the Internet adoption by the UK grocery retailers in order to understand whether the type of grocery retail marketing activities undertaken influences this. (ii) to investigate whether the extent of the Internet adoption by the UK grocery retailers is dependent upon the size of retail operation, in terms of the number of total retail outlets. Therefore, the study developed from the previous works in this area focuses on the achievement of the main objectives. Since the examination of existing literature shows that previous works do not assess the effectiveness of the Internet as a retail marketing communication channel for grocery retail marketing; and from the perspective of consumer, this study fills these gaps by using the Internet to identify market opportunities for grocery retailers. In order to collect the data, the Corporate Intelligence on Retailing was used as the source of data, because it included all of the large retail organisations as well as those with a significant on-line presence. Those websites of the UK's leading retail organisations were identified. The UK's grocery retail organisations selected were based on the presence of a registered URL; website activity validation, and website review procedure. This method ensured that the collection of data was conducted in a rigorous and consistent manner. Both the fundamental principles that govern the Internet and the retail marketing communication dyad have been evaluated. The findings highlight the difficulty of acquiring a sustainable competitive advantage via the Internet resulting from the necessity for grocery retail-specific structures, the derived nature of consumer demand for grocery, security concerns, the presence of structural impediments in shopping via the Internet, and the transaction-versus-process-based use of the Internet in grocery retailing. The major contribution of this study therefore is the identification of structural changes to the UK grocery retail market, which consequently harmonises all the grocery retailers and those factors underpinning the adoption of the Internet by the UK's leading grocery retailers that help to strengthen their competitiveness and allow sustainability in the grocery retail market.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available