The rise of online grocery shopping in China: Which brands will benefit?

Bernadette J. van Ewijk*, Jan-Benedict E. M. Steenkamp, Els Gijsbrechts

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

Abstract

Online grocery in China is on the rise. With large differences in brands' abilities to secure a portion of China's online pie, a key question is what drives these differences. The authors derive how a brand's total sales change as the online grocery share goes up, and they show that it depends on two indices: (1) the brand's online index (brand's online category share relative to its offline category share) and (2) the category's online index (category's grocery share online relative to its grocery share offline). The authors then identify brand and category factors that drive these indices. They estimate their model on 448 brands in 60 product categories in China using 2011-2015 data. Their analyses show that the brand online index mainly increases with higher levels of online availability, lower online-to-offline price ratios, and for "trusted," less "fun" brands. As for the category online index, expensive, less frequently bought categories benefit from the shift toward the online channel, whereas the opposite holds for perishable and heavy categories.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)20-39
JournalJournal of international marketing
Volume28
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2020

Keywords

  • China
  • digital sales channel
  • ecommerce
  • grocery
  • CONSUMER CHOICE
  • PRICE
  • CATEGORY
  • TRUST
  • SENSITIVITY
  • HOUSEHOLD
  • BEHAVIOR
  • QUALITY

Cite this