Business research method

Business Research Method




UK market is getting to be consumer-led. This is the reason behind boom in advertising. In a new urban culture consumption of supermarket has become very popular. Supermarket is various things and different are widely by new population.

We are living in the 21st century of the consumers, because what consumer buy's determines which firm will survive or thrive. Today's consumer has more power than ever before, fuelling 2/3 of the US economy. “Consumer is a person or organization unit that plays a role in the consumption of a transaction with the marketer or an entity”. Sheth J et al, 1999, pp 5. Consumers are highly complex individual subject to variety of psychological and social needs quit apart from their survival needs.

Main Issues:

  1. Prices are falling and have done so consistently for several years. The OFT estimates real decreases of over 7 per cent between 2000 and 2009, and Decrease Prices have saved consumers more than £3.2 billion over the last few years;
  2. Product choice and range increases every year, with new products constantly being introduced. The OFT estimates that larger store have seen a 44 per cent up in product range over the last four years;
  3. Product quality is increasing, with innovations in the supply chain resulting in more (and cheaper) choices of organic, good quality ready to eat meals,good bakery products and soft breads, locally-sourced meats and produce, environmentally friendly household products, ethnic products such as Halal meats and improved food safety;
  4. Service levels are high and improving, with more in-store facilities, longer opening hours, less customer, trained staff and increased home delivery - our evidence gives that 86 per cent of shoppers regard their shopping experience as either excellent or good;
  5. Customer satisfaction levels are high and rising - our evidence shows that 85 per cent of shoppers in supermarkets generally say the shopping experience has improved over the last five years and 70 per cent of shoppers in convenience stores agree; and
  6. Environmental footprint is improving - many of the larger supermarkets are making commitments to extensive and long-term sustainability initiatives that respond to the growing importance of the environmental challenges that we all face. For our part we plan to halve energy consumption of our new stores by 2010, and we have set aside £100 million for technologies that promote environmental sustainability of our business.


“A need is an unsatisfactory condition of the consumer that leads to an action. A want is a desire to obtain more satisfaction than is absolutely necessary to improve an unsatisfactory condition”Sheth J et al, 1999, pp 41.


Many authors use customer and many authors use consumer. Consumer mostly refers to the household market and customer to the business market.


“We define consumer behavior as the mental and physical activities undertaken by household and business consumer that result in decision and action to pay for, purchase and use products or services” Sheth J et al, 1999, pp 5.

Consumer behavior focuses on how individual makes decision to spend their available recourses time, money, efforts on consumption related items. This includes what they buy, why they buy, where they buy and how often they buy. The purchase decision of the consumer will affect the demand of raw material, transportation, banking, transportation, employment of workers. In order to be in successful in business they need to know everything about consumer.

There are two types of consumers

  1. Personal consumers
  2. Organizational consumers.

Personal consumers are those who buy for household consumption and organizational consumer are those who buy for business consumption.

There are broadly three roles of consumers

  1. Buying
  2. Paying
  3. User

The user is the person who actually consumes or uses the product or receives the benefits. Payer is the person who pays for the product. Buyer is the person who participates in the procurement of the product from the marketplace. Each of the role may be carried out by one person or by different persons. Like a father pays for the computer foe his child but the user is the child.


Business everywhere in the world is recognizing the importance of understanding the consumer behavior as a key to their success.

Peter. F Drucker, considered to be one of the leading management gurus in the world believes that the purpose of the business is to create and retain a satisfied customer. Although firms have to make money. Drucker argues that making money is a necessity not a purpose.


A key feature of the field consumer behavior is its research base.

  • THE DECISION MAKING PERSPECTIVE- according to this buying result from consumer perceiving that a problem exists and then moving through a series of steps.
  • THE EXPERIENTIAL PERSPECTIVE- the experiential perspective on consumer buying process that in some instances consumers do not make their purchase according to the decision making process. Instead people sometimes buy products and services in order to have fun, emotions and feelings.
  • THE BEHAVIORAL INFLUENCE PERSPECTIVE- this occurs when strong environmental forces propel consumers to make purchases without necessarily first developing a feeling about that product.


No one buys a product unless they have a problem, need or want. Consumer decision making model CDP “represents a road map of consumer's mind that marketer and mangers can use to help guide product mix, communication and sales strategies' Engel B, 2006.pp70.

Marketing textbooks and consumer resecher textbooks sometimes employ slightly different term, but the study of the consumer behavior focuses primarily on the seven stage process and how various factors can influence each stage of consumer decision

  1. Need recognition- the starting point of any purchase decision is need or problem. Need recognition occurs when an individual senses a difference between what he or she perceives to be the ideal versus the actual state. Consumer buy things when they believe products availability to solve the problem are worth more than the cost of buying it. Engel B, 2006, pp71.
  2. Search for information- once the consumer recognises its needs then he searches for the information. Search may be internal or external. Internal search may be memory or external search may be collecting information from friend's family etc.
  3. The length of the depth of the search is determined by variables such as personality, class, income and many more.

  4. Pre-purchase evaluation of alternatives- the next stage of the consumer decision process is evaluating alternative options amiable in the market. Consumer has to select among what are the options available and which option is the best among that.
  5. Purchase- the next stage of the consumer decision process is purchase, after deciding whether or not to purchase. A consumer might move through the first stage of the decision process according to plan and intended to purchase a particular product and brand. Consumer may prefer one retailer but choose another because of sales promotion activities.
  6. Consumption- after the purchase is made and the consumer takes possession of the product now is the stage of consumption. Consumption can occur immediately or be delayed. How consumer uses the product also affects how satisfied they are with the purchase and how likely they are to buy the particular product or brand in the future.
  7. Post- consumption evaluation- the next stage of consumer decision making is post consumption evaluation, in which consumer experience a sense of either satisfaction or dissatisfaction. The most important determinant of satisfaction is consumption, how consumer uses that product.
  8. Divestment- divestment is the last stage in the consumer decision process. For example when the student is finished using the car he has to dispose of it to someone.

He can sell the car or dispose it in junkyard.


There are many factors which influences consumer buying behaviour, and they are categorized in three types

  1. Buying situation
  2. Personal influences
  3. Social influences

1 THE BUYING SITUATION- three types of buying situation are as follows

2. Extended problem- solving- Extended problem solving involves a high degree of information search. It is commonly seen in the purchase of the car, house, T.V, etc.

3. Limited problem-solving- many consumer purchase fall into this type. The consumer has some experience with the product and information search is mainly internally.

4. Habitual problem-solving-habitual problem solving occurs when consumer repeat buys the same product with little or no evaluation of alternatives.

5. Personal influence - there are six influences on consumer behaviour.

  1. Information processing- information processing refers to the process by which a stimulus is received, interpreted, stored in memory and later retrieved. Jobber .D, 2007.pp132.
  2. Motivation- and understanding of motivation lies in the relationship between needs, drives and goals. Motives are grouped into five categories by MASLOW.
  3. Belief and attitudes- a belief is a thought that a person hold about something and attitude is an overall favourable or unfavourable evaluation of a product.
  4. Personality- personality is the inner psychological characteristics of an
  5. Individual that leads to the consistent response to their environment.

  6. Life style- lifestyle refers to the pattern of living as expressed in a person's activities interest and opinions.

  7. Life cycle and age- consumer behaviour depends on the stage that people have reached in living the life. Age is also an effective discriminator of consumer behaviour. For example young people have different taste compared to older people.

3.Social influences- there are four social influences on consumer behaviour

  1. Culture- culture refers to the tradition, taboos, values and basic attitudes of the whole society within an individual lives.
  2. Social class-social class is mainly depending on income and occupation.
  3. Geodemographics- it is base on population census. Example type of household, car ownership, age, occupation, number and age of children's.
  4. Reference groups- the reference group indicate a group a group of people that influences an individual behaviour. This group may consist of family members, a friend, club and society.

PERCEPTION- Sensation refers to the immediate response of our sensory reception (eyes, ears, .mouth, and finger) to basic stimuli such as light colour sound ador and texture. Perception is the process by which these sensations are selected, organised and interpreted. Solomon M (2004), pp 49.

CONSUMER RELATION MANAGEMENT - the dream of any business leader is to be able to predict the future. The only way to do that is via customer relation management (CRM). Because if there is no customer then there is no business and no future. Companies today are spending more on CRM than they ever have. Petouhoff N,(2002),pp 3.

CRM consist of sophisticated software and analytical tools that integrate customer information from all sources, analyze it in depth and apply the results to build stronger customer relation. CRM integrates everything that a company's sales, service, and marketing teams know about customer to provide a 360- degree view of customer relation. Kotler P & Armstrong G, 2004, pp161.

MARKETING AND CONSUMER BEHAVIOUR -marketing deals with identifying and meeting human and social needs one of the shortest definition of marketing is “ meeting needs profitability. When Sony designed its play station, when Gillette launched its mach 3 these manufactures were swamped with orders because they had designed the right product based on careful market research.

Marketing involves satisfying consumer needs and wants. The task of any business is to deliver customer value at profit. Kolter P & Keller K.2006, pp7


The field of consumer behaviour is rooted in marketing strategy that involved in the late 1950's when some marketers began to realize that they could sell more goods more easily, if they produce only those goods, which consumer would buy. Consumer needs and wants become the firms primary focus. The consumer oriented marketing philosophy known as marketing concept. Where the selling concept focus on profit through sales volume, the marketing concept focus on profit through customer satisfaction. Schiffman L & Kanuk L, (2004), pp 10.

Marketing strategy consist of marketing plan. It is the process to attract the consumer with the help of advertisement, service to consumer and many more.

There are mainly three marketing strategies

  • Market dominance strategy
  • Portors generic strategy
  • Marketing welfare strategy

Johnson G & Scholes K,1999.pp34.


AIM - aim of my research is to investigate how supermarket companies can improve their marketing strategies in UK.


  • To review the literature on consumer behaviour and factors influencing consumer behaviour
  • To provide an overview of the supermarket industry on UK
  • To investigate the behaviour of consumers in UK regarding supermarket.
  • To provide recommendations as how TESCO can improve its marketing strategies in UK

1. STATEMENT OF THE DESIGN AND METHODOLOGY.- hakim(2000) compares a researcher with an architect. Like architecture research design will need to fulfil a particular purpose within the practical constraints of time and money.

There are three methods of research design.

Exploratory- “an exploratory study is valuable means of finding out, what is happening to seek new insight, to ask questions and to assess phenomena in a new light” Robson (2002), pp 59. It is particular useful if we wish to clarify our understanding of a problem. It is very time consuming.

Descriptive- the object of the research is to “portray an accurate profile of a person events or situations” Robson (2002), pp 59.

Explanatory- “studies that establish causal relationship between variables may be termed as explanatory research” Sunders. Metal. pp 134.

I am using the exploratory research, as my research fulfils all the criteria of the research.

  • A search of the literature
  • Interviewing experts in the subject
  • Conducting interviews

In my research I will investigate the literature review on consumer behaviour. And I will investigate what is the behaviour of UK's consumers regarding supermarket with the help of questionnaires.


Market research is often needed to ensure that company produce things which consumer really wants and not think what company think they want. Research will often help to reduce the risk associated with new product, but cannot take the risk away entirely.

TESCO did a great deal of great of research prior to releasing the new TESCO , and consumers seemed to prefer the taste , however they were not prepared to have new TESCO.

There are two main approaches to marketing.

Secondary data collection involves


using information that other have already put together. For example if a company is thinking about starting a new business of making clothes for tall persons than company can see from the survey conducted by the government to know how many tall people live in that area. Secondary data involves both quantitative and qualitative.

Primary data are collected first time as original data. The data is recorded as observed or encountered. They are the raw data.

Many authors draw a distinction between qualitative and quantitative data.

Qualitative data refers to all non numerical data or other data that have not been quantified and can be a product of all research strategies. It can range from a short list of response to open extended questions.

Quantitative data is in raw form. And convey a little meaning. These data need to be processed to make them useful. Quantitative analysis techniques such as graphs, charts and statistics allow us to do this. Sunders. M et al, 2007.pp 356.

I will use quantitative data method. My study is on consumer behaviour. I will use questioner to find what is the consumer behaviour regarding supermarket in UK.

I am relating consumer behaviour and marketing and therefore I will see how their relationship works in a super market company. I will see on TESCO to understand their relation. As I am researching on supermarket, Tesco is no 1 super market company in UK. And it is also a multinational company. In UK it has a very close competitor SAINSBARY. And therefore I will research how TESCO can improve its marketing strategies to attract more consumers.


There are two types sampling techniques

Probability or representative sampling- with probability samples the chance, or probability of each case being selected from the population is know and is usually equal for all cases

Non-probability or judgemental sampling- in this technique the probability of each case being selected from the total population is not known and it is impossible to answer the research question. Sunders. M et al, 2007.pp206.

Every item in the universe does not have equal chance of being included in a sample.

I will use convenience sampling which is a type of non-probability sampling.

My research is of 3 months only and I don't have enough time and money to do other sampling. Convenience sampling chooses the individual that are easiest to reach.


Generalisations about population from data collected using probability sample are on statistical probability. The larger the sample sizes the lower the likely errors. Stutely's(2003) advise a minimum number of 30 for the statistical analysis provides a useful rule of thumb.

The size for my research will be 50-70 questioners. I will question 50-70 people about how they feel about supermarket.


Ethics means perception of what is right and what is wrong. There are number of ethic issue arises across the stage of research project. Sunders. M et al, 2007.pp179.

-privacy of possible and actual participant

-voluntary nature of participant

-consent of participant

-reaction of participant to the way in which we seek to collect data

I have to understand all the ethics before starting the dissertation .such as honesty, objectivity, integrity, and many more issues

6) METHOD OF DATA ANALYSIS- I am using questionnaire and interviews for data analysis. As my data collection method is qualitative. A questionnaire is a research instrument consisting series of question and the purpose of it to gather the information. Also I am using this because it is less time consuming and cheap. it also saves researchers and respondent time. I am researching on consumers all busy. So it will help me and them.

7) FORM OF PRESENTATION- My presentation will be in written form and will contain variety of charts, graphs and tables. I will use graphs related to TESCO and SAINSBARY.


Work plan














Compilation of aim and objectives

Search Literature review

Selection of methodology

Collection of data

Prepare questionnaire, interview

Analysis of data

Compilation of information and recommendations.

Revision and editing

Binding and submission of dissertation

PERCEPTION- Sensation refers to the immediate response of our sensory reception (eyes, ears, .mouth, and finger) to basic stimuli such as light colour sound ador and texture. Perception is the process by which these sensations are selected, organised and interpreted. Solomon M (2004), pp 49.

CONSUMER RELATION MANAGEMENT - the dream of any business leader is to be able to predict the future. The only way to do that is via customer relation management (CRM). Because if there is no customer then there is no business and no future. Companies today are spending more on CRM than they ever have. Petouhoff N,(2002),pp 3.

Please be aware that the free essay that you were just reading was not written by us. This essay, and all of the others available to view on the website, were provided to us by students in exchange for services that we offer. This relationship helps our students to get an even better deal while also contributing to the biggest free essay resource in the UK!