Family Mart is a convenient multinational store. The organization runs a chain of stores in Japan and South Korea. Consumer goods is the primary focus of Family Mart and the organization enjoys a significant market share being the second largest convenient store in Asia.
Purpose of study
The purpose of this study is to conduct a research study on Family Mart shoppers behaviour and purchase intention. This research study is presented in a 2-stage research focus group and questionnaire study. Data and information would be presented to the management of Family Mart to consider in applying these approaches to improve the organization online sales.
Scope of essay
This report will assess how qualitative and quantitative approaches can be applied to the organization to establish the shoppers behavior by identifying the differences between the two approaches. With these applications, a 2-stage research study on shoppers behaviour and characteristics will be further examined and conducted to help the management in Family Mart to understand the organization customers shopping perspective better which can help highlight solutions and approaches that the organization can use to improve sales.
Types of Research Approaches
Market research encompasses a range of subject and field of activity. Research methodologies are put to use for different context and tend be classified in two evident categories: qualitative or quantitative (Creswell 2013).
Generally, quantitative approach survey a large number of individuals, which may include specific sub-groups such as by age, social class, marital status or through their brand usage. However, preparation of the questionnaire requires a high amount of effort as it contains
Standard questions that are surveyed by the respondents within the sample, in the same way throughout the survey.
Types of research approaches
There are many field activities and subjects to be covered when carrying out a market research. Different research methods are used for different purposes and contexts and they can be classified into qualitative or quantitative research. The qualitative approach seeks the subjective characteristics and features of the study whereas the quantitative approach deals with market figures to create a conclusion on the subject being studied (Bryman and Bell 2015).
A quantitative approach uses surveys that assess different demographic groups and subgroups such as age, marital status and age to establish their use of the organization products. A quantitative approach uses survey questionnaires that are designed to establish a specific relationship or phenomena evidenced by the consumers through their behavior. The surveyed questions are specific and seeks specific information from the respondents. After carrying out the survey the results are converted into statistical results which are used to create inferences on the population characteristics and their relationship with the organization products and services. Therefore, quantitative research uses figures to measure how consumers behave towards the products of a certain organization (Bernard and Bernard 2012).
An example of a quantitative research
McDonalds carried out a quantitative study to assess the quality of its home delivery services. The study involved volunteers who were provided with the survey questions which were competent enough to establish the convenient of home service deliveries. The study assessed timely delivery and the quality of goods delivered since most were packaged by McDonalds employees without the awareness of the consumers. The study found out that 30 percent of the respondents found home delivery services to be of a lot of convenient whereas 60 percent of the respondents questioned the organization delivery time and packaging (Creswell 2013).
Benefits of a quantitative study
A quantitative research is more beneficial to an organization because it can be carried out on a large area and data. This aspect increases the credibility of the results and it is largely objective. The results from a quantitative research is numerical and precise because it lacks the subjective element that can overshadow the results. Finally, carrying out a quantitative research is easy because all it requires is the construction of a questionnaire or surveys that are then circulated to the research population (Bernard and Bernard 2012).
Limitations of a quantitative research
A major limitation of the quantitative approach is the lack of in depth results and also the results of a quantitative research are too general and might not reflect the real phenomena being tested.
Contrarily, qualitative research allows researchers to explore questions such as what, why and how; in particular with meaning rather than quantify. It leads the research result to focus on the relationship between people and people, or people and products, services or brands.
There are many techniques and tools used in qualitative approach such as focus group, conversation, depth interviews and observation. As it focus on emotions and relationship, the surveys are usually conducted in a small number of participants. Such approach requires many resources and time for the researcher to understand how individual think and behave, which interview may vary from highly structured and guided with an open-ended interview to less structured conversational interview. As these research involves few number of participants, the findings cannot be generalized to the whole population. However, it can be served as a sample size data for references in other practices (Creswell 2013).
Example of a qualitative approach
The Coca-Cola company carried out a qualitative research to assess which brand amongst its products is most revered by the consumers and why. The company used a focus group to assess the best brand between coca cola zero and diet coca cola. Most respondents in the focus group sided with the coca cola zero due to its health benefits.
Advantages of a qualitative research
A qualitative research has a number of benefits compared to the quantitative approach. A qualitative approach establishes a deep understanding of the perspectives of the respondents through guided or open ended questions. In addition, a qualitative research can enable the researchers to identify an unknown phenomena and also the verbal and subjective information can be changed into numerical data (Creswell 2013).
Limitations of a qualitative study
The data received from the focus groups and interviews are subjective and does not represent the entire population. In addition, it is difficult to draw relationships between different data and also application of statistical methods are limited in qualitative approach due to lack of numerical data (Bernard and Bernard 2012).
Application to Family Mart
Family Mart should make a good decision on the research approach to use to establish the consumer behavior towards its different products. Due to the nature of the study it would be best for the organization to use a quantitative approach instead of a qualitative approach. The research on consumer behavior will be based on various products and geographical markets hence the need for a quantities research that can allow a comparison between the different data characteristics that will emerge. The different results that will emerge from different demographic groups which will participate in the study can be analysed statistically to establish different characteristics of consumer behavior in different markets. Different geographical and demographic samples will have different characteristics of consumer behavior and a quantitative approach can be used to assess different perspectives of consumers in different sample groups. Such information will reduce the generalization of the study results by creating specific statistical results that creates a real picture of Family Mart consumer`s behavior. However, to establish a generalized characteristic of the Family Mart consumers a qualitative approach will be the most effective in this study instead of a quantitative approach that will create numerical inferences without any particular data characteristics (Creswell 2013).
2 stage research study on shopper behavior
The purpose of this research is to establish the factors that motivate shoppers to purchase their goods and services in Family Mart and the acceptability of the organization brands amongst the consumers. This research will help the management of Family Mart to understand the market characteristics.
The focus group study on shoppers behavior will be based on ten random shoppers who will be engaged in an interactive conversation regarding their motivation to shop in Family Mart. A moderator will be used to facilitate the interaction between the shoppers and pose open ended questions that will be addressed by the participants. The moderator will identify key and repetitive themes regarding the characteristics of Family Mart products, services and nature that motivate or demotivate the consumers to shop in Family Mart. After the interactive session the moderator should issue the participants with questionnaires that will enable the organization establish statistical data and responses to support the qualitative study (Bernard and Bernard 2012).
The process of conducting a focus group study require careful planning. The process entails the recruitment of the participants, choosing the meeting point and the moderator and finally final preparation and conduction of the focus discussion (Stewart and Shamdasani, 2014).
A focus group study should be held in a place where the participants are comfortable. A conference room will be hired to accommodate the focus group study. It is important to ensure that the conference room has the necessary facilities and instruments such as microphones and a one way mirror that will enable the management to monitor the focus group activity. The focus group activity should last for 6 hours and it is important for the participants to be offered with refreshments. The discussions should be based on the beliefs, feelings and attitudes of the participants towards their experience while shopping in Family Mart. The reason for offering refreshments is to establish a relaxed and comfortable environment for the participants and also as a form of appreciation for their efforts to participate. It is also important to record the focus group activity with the aim of future reference and analyses by the management (Krueger and Casey 2014).
Recruitment and selection of the participants
It is important for the focus group to be homogenous which will enhance the accuracy of the responses. The creation of the questionnaires to be used by the focus group should highlight and meet the demographic, attitudes, product knowledge and experiences of the participants.
Selection of the moderator
A moderator is an individual who coordinate the entire activity and should ensure that all the participants are given an opportunity to participate. The moderator generates the flow of events in the whole activity. Therefore, a good moderator should be fluent and also poses good interpersonal skills. The moderator should also be aware of the local culture and dialect of the participants to ensure full participation (Stewart and Shamdasani 2014).
Preparing and conducting the focus group discussion
A discussion guide will be the most effective approach to ensure that all participants has an opportunity to engage in the discussion. The discussion guide will also assist the moderator to include all the major discussion points. It is also important for the moderator to be aware of the product...
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