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Feasibility and Acceptability of a “Click & Collect” WIC Online Ordering Pilot

      Abstract

      Background

      Barriers to shopping for foods in the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) have been reported. Online ordering options may improve the WIC shopping experience but are understudied.

      Objective

      The objective of this study was to test feasibility and acceptability of a “Click & Collect” model for WIC online ordering from the perspective of WIC participants.

      Design

      A Click & Collect online ordering model was adapted to the WIC program and implemented at 1 grocery store. In the Click & Collect model, WIC participants placed an online order (“click”), then completed payment and pickup at the store (“collect”).

      Participants/setting

      Twenty-five WIC participants in East Tennessee were included.

      Main outcome measures

      Feasibility was assessed by examining online order summaries and store receipts to determine whether WIC transactions were completed successfully. Acceptability was assessed by qualitative semi-structured interviews conducted with WIC participants after participating in the pilot.

      Analyses performed

      Descriptive statistics were used to analyze sociodemographic and purchase data in SPSS software, version 27. Qualitative interviews were transcribed and analyzed for themes using directed content analysis in NVivo, version 12.0.

      Results

      All WIC participants in the study placed an online order, and 96% picked up the order, indicating a high degree of feasibility. In follow-up qualitative interviews, WIC participants reported interest in the Click & Collect model, and provided suggestions to improve practicality across the following 4 primary themes: website experience, curbside pickup, online shopping fee, and shopping preferences.

      Conclusions

      The pilot was successfully implemented at 1 store. Click & Collect online ordering was feasible and acceptable to WIC participants, although additional work is needed to make it practical. Online shopping options for the WIC program should be further explored to expand access to nutritious WIC foods in families with low income.

      Keywords

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      Biography

      M. Zimmer is a fellow, National Institutes of Health, National Cancer Institute. At the time of the study, she was a student, department ofpublic health, University of Tennessee, Knoxville. M. McElrone is an Assistant Professor of public health, University of Tennessee, Chattanooga. E. T. Anderson Steeves is an Assistant Professor of public health nutrition, University of Tennessee, Knoxville.