The beta test of an electronic supermarket

R. Henderson, D. Rickwood, P. Roberts

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

33 Citations (Scopus)


This paper presents findings of a beta test of an electronic supermarket. It first reports qualitative information elicited during interviews and focus groups conducted with the beta test user group. A total of 57 users who had tested the system participated in the qualitative component of the study. Interviews and focus groups addressed what the users considered the best and worst features of the system and what things they would do differently if they were the management of the electronic supermarket. Results generated a number of suggestions for improvement and concerns. Interestingly, it became apparent that the electronic supermarket, rather than being considered an impersonal form of shopping, was considered a very personalized form of shopping, akin to the corner grocery market. The paper then reports the results of a quantitative survey that aimed to predict intentions to use the electronic supermarket are reported. Construct measurement was loosely based on the technology acceptance model, a derivative of the theory of reasoned action, and further supplemented by industry specific relevant constructs. Constructs tapped, therefore, consisted of perceived usefulness, enjoyment, peer-group norms, usability and perceptions of the electronic shopping experience. Biographical and situational data were also recorded. Analysis was conducted on 64 completed questionnaires. Results indicated a high level of intention to use the system in the future. Not surprisingly, many of the hypothesised predictors of intention to use the system were intercorrelated. Multivariate regression analyses revealed, however, that two variables contributed significantly to the intention to use the system in the future: enjoyment in using the system and peergroup norms, together accounting for 61% of the variance in intentions to use the system in the future. The implications of the research for theory and practice are discussed. The paper concludes by presenting a theoretical model of the factors identified as being important in the use of electronic supermarkets.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)385-399
Number of pages15
JournalInteracting with Computers
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1998


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