system (1.45) and trustworthiness of the Web site (1.40). The community component of Colesonline, however, has a reasonably good performance, although this component is not con- sidered as important. Therefore, this item lies on the ‘strategic overkill’ zone in Figure 10.4. These findings are consistent with the qualitative analysis.
In regard to the sector profile, all items except for the community component are situated in the ‘maintain strategy’ zone, but they are quite far below the diagonal. This implies that there are still opportunities to improve most of the Australian Web sites in the grocery sector, although the sites have a reasonable performance. The community component lies on the diagonal and is situated in the ‘immediate improvement not necessary” zone. This means that, although the com- munity component of the sector profile does not have a high score, it was not rated as important either. Therefore, no immediate improvement is required for this.
In summary, based on the results of the Web evaluation of the Australian sites, the study reveals that the majority of the Web sites still require some improvements in many areas, as they still lag behind the performance of the best-practice company. The lack of maturity of Web sites in this sector could be a factor contributing to the slow acceptance of online grocery shopping in Australia. Therefore, by improving the Web sites, particularly in the specific areas identified in this study, the acceptance of online grocery shopping by Australian consumers could likely be improved.
Figure 10.5 summarizes the overall evaluation of the Web sites included in the Swiss grocery sector. Migros appears to be the best site in the sector and Spar the worst. Other Web sites require significant improvements in order to achieve a quality comparable to that of Migros, which is the best-practice Web site in this sector. The two large-scale companies Migros and Coop reached
nearly the same overall result. The customer choice between them likely depends on personal preferences toward the real-world brand (the vendor), product range, and price level. In Switzer- land, a kind of “religious war” between Migros and Coop followers can be observed which seems to translate also to the online realm.
Figure 10.6 summarizes the company profile for all Web sites evaluated in this study, indicat- ing the score obtained in each phase. It shows that in Switzerland, the best-practice company does not stand out as much as it does in Australia. The companies were more evenly rated.
Overall, the Swiss results are better than the Australian results. Most participants seem to be satisfied with the sites in general. These observations were confirmed by the subsequent qualita- tive analyses conducted by the authors as well as the qualitative remarks supplied by the Swiss assessors.
In the information phase the analyzed Web sites show varying results. Important criteria in this phase are the possibility of finding and locating the Web site, the presentation of products, infor- mation about special offers, and the quality and quantity of the information provided. All four Swiss Web sites can be found easily on the Web. The assessors criticized that the two leaders in the retail sector, Migros and Coop, do not point out the existence of an online shop on their general company Web site. They recommended that LeShop as a pure online player should work harder to move to a higher place in search engines, because as a pure online shop it has not got the same name recognition as the other three retailers.
In the shops of Coop, Migros, and LeShop, the range is presented very “originally and clearly.” Products are arranged with reference to product categories or in the same order as in the physical stores. Migros and Coop give detailed descriptions of the products, which was positively empha- sized by the assessors. Nearly all products are illustrated with graphics, which facilitates their recognition by inexperienced shoppers. Spar, on the other hand, does not offer pictures; this fact was often mentioned as missing and “rather boring.” Information about delivery time is given by all Web shops. Navigation within the Web sites of Coop, Migros, and LeShop is easy, clear, and logically built. The Spar Web site is confusing; one of the assessors even called it “malicious.”
After-Sales Phase 5. Community Component 6. Final Section
For the agreement phase the shops of Migros, Coop, and LeShop received a good evaluation. The ordering process is transparent and interactive. LeShop offers the possibility of payment by invoice and bank transfer, while Coop even offers the possibility of cash payment. The assessors welcome the choice among these three payment methods. The results for Spar differ: Some asses- sors praise the “clear and simple” structure of the payment process, while others describe “the navigation and subnavigation [as] not well designed.” Moreover, some of the virtual sections did not contain any products.
In the Migros shop, customers are able to define a personal shopping list which is very helpful in selecting everyday items. Coop additionally makes the customers shopping proposals based on the transaction profiles. Furthermore, it must be mentioned that buying grocery products online does not lead to direct price advantages for the customer. The shipping costs are reduced or dropped if a purchase reaches a certain amount, which saves the customer from walking to the store and fetching his purchase personally.
For the settlement phase, in all shops—except Coop, where cash payment is possible—pay- ment has to be made in advance by credit card or bank transfer or later by invoice. Payment by credit card is the most widely used method in Swiss online shopping in general. The assessors do not criticize it, nor do they praise it as a particularly beneficial payment method. Coop allows for a very precise selection of the delivery time (+/–30 minutes). In contrast, Migros indicates a large-scale delivery period, which the assessors criticized. On the other hand, they appreciate the
short delivery time provided by Migros: depending on the delivery region, orders can be placed until 10.00 in the morning and the goods will be delivered shortly after 4.00 on the same day. LeShop offers a longer delivery period, because delivery is limited by the Swiss postal service (LeShop’s fulfillment partner). Spar delivers within a period of three hours by courier but only within very limited delivery areas. The charge for delivery (between 10 and 15 Swiss Francs) was acceptable to the assessors. Migros is the only vendor that offers order tracking. Since this func- tion is not considered very important, the assessors do not criticize its lack in the other shops. In the grocery sector, purchase order tracking seems to be a so-called nice-to-have feature which does not lead to a real advantage for the customer.
For the after-sales phase only few comments were made. This is a positive result, because the assessors had to use the customer service very rarely. In those cases where calling the customer service was necessary, assessors praised the “friendly and competent telephone support” (pro- vided by LeShop). One example was a question for LeShop customer support regarding the han- dling and return of delivery boxes, for which a deposit had to be paid. In the case of Coop and Migros, customers appreciated the integration of the payback programs (“SuperCard” and “Cu- mulus”) into the online shop. This makes it possible to collect shopping points no matter which channel (electronic or brick-and-mortar) a customer is using. For low-quality products and for products that do not meet customer expectations completely, LeShop offers a money-back strat- egy. This offer is very helpful to ensure that only high-quality and fresh products are delivered. Calling customer service by phone or e-mail will be unavoidable if the customer forgets his password. It is found a nuisance that in all evaluated shops customer service is available only during (extended) business hours. For the customer who wants to shop late in the evening this is not very helpful.
Looking at the importance of the EWAM criteria, it becomes obvious that the community component is not very important in the grocery sector. Accordingly, there were few comments about it. The assessors did not expect community functions.
For the final section, Migros once again received the highest rating. User guidance is intuitive und well structured in all evaluated shops. The graphical design of the user interface is a matter of taste. The assessors repeatedly praised the facility to overview purchase orders at the end of the shopping process on the LeShop Web site. In the case of Coop and Migros some assessors felt insecure during the payment process because the payment module does not have the same look and feel as the other pages of the shop. All vendors make little use of the possibilities for hyperlinks. The presentation of suitable recipes, the offer of a nutrition consultation or of search possibilities for further information do exist, but they appear to be copied from a paper version of the product catalog.
In the shops of Coop and Migros, the trisection of the screen into range, product, and shopping cart was rated as good. The permanent display of the shopping cart as well as the opportunities to change its contents in the shops of Coop, LeShop, and Migros were positively noted. In these three shops it is also possible to save a personal shopping cart and to open it again if required and generate a new purchase order from it. The assessors rate this personalization method as very useful. Further differences between the analyzed online shops can be observed in the area of trustworthiness of the shops. The high trustworthiness of Coop and Migros is based on their high name recognition, since they have been established vendors for decades. Le Shop, on the other hand, as a young and pure online grocer, first had to stand the test on the market for grocery products.