It-retorik og hverdagsliv. Et studie af fødevarehandel over Internet.
From a social constructivist point of view this thesis investigates how e-commerce of grocery develops in the period 1998-2003. The empirical research is done in Sweden. Most Swedish grocery concerns that have had e-commerce and have been forced to shut down as a result of lack of demand. The starting point for this thesis is that technological development is an ongoing process where different actors participate. Likewise, technological invention cannot be considered finished before it is in use. Therefore in this thesis consumer - as well as supplier perspectives are investigated. The analysis focuses on understanding how different knowledge and practices in these two contexts affect the development of e-commerce of groceries. Empirical data from the supplier side shows that technical solutions for online grocery shopping arose from certain perceptions in the grocery business and IT sector. In the late 90's there was a strong faith in ICT (information- and communication technology) which affected how venture interests invested in new IT-applications. Empirical data show that among suppliers there is a rather narrow perception of consumers? use of e-commerce in grocery shopping. This perception of consumer needs is contradicted by the analysis of consumer behavior which shows how Internet use is embedded in contexts of everyday life and how consumer skills are used in shopping. It is particularly households with several family members that use the Internet for grocery shopping and it is especially women who are purchasing groceries on the Internet. The empirical data shows how consumers form strategies for buying groceries on the Internet. Typically consumers prefer to purchase certain kinds of products in the store and other kinds on the Internet. This stems from the fact that consumers feel it is important to have physical contact with especially fresh products. This can be interpreted to mean that the shopping is a way of expressing affection for family members. Another finding is that dilemmas arose in the work of shopping. There is a need for being effective in shopping but also a need for precise investigation of products and accuracy in selecting. E-commerce cannot fully satisfy shopping needs, and it is only seen as a complement among families using it. Thus, e-commerce is used in correspondence with consumer skills in the household. The thesis shows the gendered aspects of shopping and the importance of understanding consumer culture where technology is introduced.
Source Type:Doctoral Dissertation
Keywords:SOCIAL SCIENCES; social shaping of technology; Social sciences; consumer behaviour; family; feeding work; consumer skills; domestication of technology; gender; Internet grocery shopping; everyday life; Samhällsvetenskaper; Sociology; Sociologi
Date of Publication:01/01/2005