Mobile application supported urban-township e-grocery distribution

De Leeuw, S. ORCID: 0000-0003-3056-8775, Mkansi, M. and Amosun, O., 2019. Mobile application supported urban-township e-grocery distribution. International Journal of Physical Distribution and Logistics Management. ISSN 0960-0035

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Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to present a mobile application supported townshipand urban e-grocery distribution models that uses a software application (app) to bridge the infrastructural barriers, costs and complexities associated with e-grocery delivery operations in rural township areas.

Design/methodology/approach: Using a qualitative multi-case approach and semi-structured interviews, the study explored distribution practices of eight national emerging e-grocery retail businesses to demonstrate how mobile applications can facilitate South African urban and township e-grocery delivery models.

Findings: The study reveals how the need to scale the use of new mobile application innovations fuels value-added services that power new e-grocery distribution models. Of interest is how the application aggregates demand rapidly, respond to demand within a short lead time and how e-grocers use competitors’ stores as their fulfilment centres. The use of apps reveals a slow transformation of society towards an inclusive model that integrates different types of workers in an informal context.

Practical implications: The mobile application value-added service business model offers a new wave of scaling e-grocery retail to rural and township areas constrained by technological, economic and road infrastructure. The apps transcend e-grocery barriers and enables small businesses with limited resources to leverage e-grocery market opportunities that are unimaginable in townships and rural areas.

Originality/value: The innovative mobile platform-base model offers emerging contextual insight of a pull e-grocery distribution model that demonstrates the supply chain innovations for addressing under-resource and under-developed logistics infrastructure.

Item Type: Journal article
Publication Title: International Journal of Physical Distribution and Logistics Management
Creators: De Leeuw, S., Mkansi, M. and Amosun, O.
Publisher: Emerald
Date: 14 November 2019
ISSN: 0960-0035
Divisions: Schools > Nottingham Business School
Record created by: Linda Sullivan
Date Added: 04 Dec 2019 14:34
Last Modified: 04 Dec 2019 14:34

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