BUSINESS

Greeks reluctant to buy from e-supermarkets

VANGELIS MANDRAVELIS

TAGS: Economy, Technology

Online supermarkets have yet to hit their stride in Greece. A few days ago the fourth such store announced its opening (yoda.gr), but Greek consumers are still far from thrilled about getting their groceries via the internet.

A survey conducted by the E-Business Research Center (ELTRUN) of the Athens University of Economics and Business has found that only one in four Greek consumers systematically buys products from online supermarkets. The other 75 percent either do so rarely (30 percent) or never (45 percent).

The survey showed that Greeks’ reluctance is related to the rich experience of shopping at regular supermarkets, the fact that they can’t examine and select each piece of fruit or vegetable, and the high cost of delivery that online orders usually entail.

Of course the 25 percent of consumers who do make their purchases online is far from negligible, as it amounts to some 750,000 consumers. Their number is growing too. There is a particular preference for supermarket commodities that can be stored for a long time, such as diapers, a very popular online order.

Virtually all Greek chains now have their own online stores, while Macedonian chain Masoutis is gearing up to open a pioneering store at Kalamaria, near Thessaloniki, where consumers will be able to make purchases using their cell phones: Using a special app, they will order the product by pointing their phone at the product. The product will then be immediately prepared to either be ready at the till or delivered to the home of the shopper.

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