Supermarkets in Europe do not perceive online shopping as a realistic threat and are currently taking a back seat approach in their adoption of Internet strategies.
This is the conclusion of a recent report from research and technology organisation Pira International, which carried out a Europe-wide study on Corporate Web Strategies.
According to the researchers, businesses that understand the mechanics of online shopping are thin on the ground. ?Sowing the seeds of future growth will require a radical change in a supermarket?s philosophy as product choice, order fulfillment and door-to-door distribution are all of equal importance to the success of an online shopping venture,? said the report.
The researchers found that, as a rule, Web sites set up by supermarket operators are failing to fulfill their promise because of the absence of clearly defined business goals and lack of commitment from senior management. They found that most Web sites are isolated from core business and not even integrated with telesales-based home shopping activity.
Paul McGurran, editor of the report in Europe, said: ?In Europe retailers still have much to learn before consumers in significant numbers turn to online shopping as a viable alternative to traditional methods. Companies selling products or services to the business community stand to benefit most from developments on the World Wide Web. However they have to decide how best to transform their sites from an exercise in corporate communications/PR and concentrate on finding new real time business applications.?
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