|Title||Mobile application supported urban-township e-grocery distribution|
|Author(s)||Mkansi, Marcia; Leeuw, Sander de; Amosun, Olatoye|
|Source||International Journal of Physical Distribution & Logistics Management 50 (2019)1. - ISSN 0960-0035 - p. 26 - 53.|
|Publication type||Refereed Article in a scientific journal|
|Keyword(s)||E-grocery distribution models - Mobile applications - Order management - Urban and township delivery|
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.