The Effect of COVID-19 Pandemic on the German E-Grocery Industry with Respect to Challenges for Retailers and Customer Satisfaction

Christin Lodni, Mehran Najmaei, Shaheen Mansori

Abstract


Online grocery retailers are currently facing challenges due to COVID-19 pandemic. As previous research suggests, the e-grocery industry in Germany has been confronted with logistical problems and reluctant consumers even before the pandemic. The purpose of this paper is to determine new challenges that arise for retailers, especially the differences in challenges arising for pure online supermarkets and omnichannel supermarkets. Furthermore, the aim is to analyse the level of customer satisfaction concerning e-grocery services provided during the pandemic. The data was collected through social media research, using comments from customers on Facebook. To be able to compare pure online supermarkets with omnichannel supermarkets, one company from each field was chosen. As the omnichannel supermarket, one of the famous delivery services was selected and for the pure online supermarket, a fast growing small company was selected. Furthermore, to analyse the collected data, sentiment analysis was used. The results revealed that in both cases the delivery and availability of products are the main challenges for online grocery retailers. Additionally, the overall customer satisfaction appears to be rather low, as a high percentage of comments for both companies were of a negative nature. These results imply that retailers should put more emphasis on improving the delivery and availability of products since this would increase customer satisfaction and create more loyal customers, who might even keep using online grocery shopping services when the coronavirus pandemic is over.


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