Management of Innovations in Organic Food Distribution and their Impact in Times of Covid-19 Pandemic and Electronic Economy in Poland
Purpose: The major goal of this study is the identification and assessment of innovations in organic food distribution and their importance in times of pandemic and electronic economy in Poland, especially actions undertaken by special chain stores of organic food. Approach/Methodology/Design: A study of a selected chain store was carried out in 2021 by the Mystery shopper method in Warsaw, Wrocław, Swarzędz and Poznań. It was comprehensive and of nationwide character. The results were compared with customers’ opinions in which way a comprehensive assessment was achieved. Additionally, the study presents information about the development of chain stores in Poland including those which sell organic foods. Characteristics of organic food customers in the time of pandemic and electronic economy have been presented as well as the concept and classification of innovation and innovative solutions implemented in similar chain stores abroad. Findings: Implementation of technological innovation was assessed for a selected specialist chain store. Innovative, 24 hour, phone application based customer self-service with no personnel present (24/7) meets customers’ expectations and is well rated by most of them (well and very well by 81%). Customers’ comfort and communication were best rated, time efficiency slightly lower, whereas reliability was given the lowest, though better than good, score. Practical Implications: The study provides clients with the possibility of doing shopping with assistance of a consultant when needed, and it offers a chance for an individual, unattended purchase with the use of an application for those who avoid direct contact with other people in the time of pandemic and want to choose the product by themselves. Such a system is an option between the traditional form of stationary retailing and online shopping. Originality/Value: The proposed solutions are to contribute to the development of organic food market and marketing in the studied area.