University of Tasmania
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Exploring collaborative in-store shopping with remote shopping partners : a case study with meat consumers

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posted on 2023-05-28, 12:38 authored by Chowdhury, SA
Collaborative shopping is an activity where two or more people shop together to fulfill their purchase needs. Collaborative shopping improves consumers' purchase decisions and social bonds. It occurs in-store, online, and where one person is present in the store, and others are in a different location, communicating via technology. Food purchasing is one of the main contexts where consumers are involved in collaborative shopping. When consumers shop alone, they often use mobile technology while in the shop to communicate with their friends and family for various purposes. They depend on basic mobile interaction, such as voice calls, text messages, or multimedia messages. In recent years human-computer interaction (HCI) researchers have given a lot of attention to the food industry and it has become a significant research area in that community. HCI Researchers are focusing on helping food consumers by introducing technology that supports a range of food-related activities from shopping to eating. However, most of the previous research has focused on individual consumers whereas collaborative shopping involves two or more shoppers. This research explores consumers' remote collaborative shopping in the context of meat shopping to understand consumers' in-store collaborative shopping behavior such as for what purpose they collaborate with their remote shopping partner and how mobile technology is being used to support their collaboration. Meat is one of the main protein sources for many people. During their meat purchase, consumers search for meat-related information to make a purchase decision, because consumers value good meat for better health and taste. During shopping, not every consumer understands the product-related information that is available at the point of purchase. In that situation, consumers may communicate with their friends and family to seek preferences and meat-related information. To understand meat consumers' in-store collaborative shopping with remote shopping partners, this research investigated premium beef, beef, chicken, lamb, and pork meat consumers' in-store collaborative shopping with a remote collaborator. A mixed-methods-research methodology was adopted to collect and analyse qualitative and quantitative data. In the first phase of the research, a qualitative study was conducted. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with premium beef consumers to identify their instore collaborative shopping behavior with remote collaborators and uses of mobile technology. Data were analyzed using a grounded approach. The qualitative study led to the quantitative study. In the second phase of the study, an online survey was conducted with beef, lamb, pork, and chicken meat consumers to explore their in-store collaborative shopping. In this phase data were collected using an online survey and data were analyzed using descriptive statistics. The findings of the qualitative and quantitative studies show that remote collaborative shopping is part of the meat shopping context. Meat consumers value their friends and family's opinions to make purchase decisions. In the context of remote collaborative shopping, current mobile technology plays an important role as mobile technology is usually accessible anytime anywhere. However, they are only using the existing communication features of mobile technology, there are no dedicated tools to support meat consumers' remote collaborative needs where meat consumers could access product information, communicate with their partners in real-time, and compare different products. The study also identifies the types of information consumers share with their remote collaborators during this type of collaborative shopping. The most important information consumers share are price, cut, type, shopping location, and brand. They discuss this information to confirm the purchase with their remote shopping partner. Finally, findings identify consumer's future preferences for using technology to support their remote collaborative shopping. Consumers prefer real-time interaction where they can communicate with their remote shopping partner, share real-time information, and make a joint decision. They also want accurate local product information to decide on their purchase. The major contribution of this thesis includes the exploration of remote collaborative shopping in the meat shopping context in-terms of why meat consumers collaborate, how they collaborate, and the importance of mobile technology in a remote collaborative shopping context. These findings contribute to the body of knowledge to better understand remote collaborative shopping in the meat shopping context. Also, this research established an understanding of the technological, social, and knowledge requirements for remote collaborative shopping.


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