Read and discuss Bringing Research to Life below. Develop investigative questions that could have been used to guide Jason and Sara’s mechanical observation study.
Bringing research to life
“How’s the HomeExtravaganza project coming?” asks Jason as he sticks his head into Sara Arens’s office.
“I finished reviewing the proposals yesterday and selected MarketViews as the subcontractor to do the observation study,” responds Sara. “MarketViews will start a week after the checklist is finalized—that’s the next step.”
“You’ve obviously determined how the observation study will interact with the larger shopper motivation study we’re doing. Fill me in.”
“You indicated last week that early survey feedback is that customer confusion related to merchandise location and availability may be a contributing factor to declining repeat visits and sales. The observation study will identify specific types of shopper confusion in the store and the sales associates’ response to that confusion.”
“I was in the store in Boca just this week for the first time,” remarks Jason. “The extensive product display is impressive, but a little overwhelming—and the store is mammoth, as well. I was certainly wishing I’d worn my Nikes!
“Even though HomeExtravaganza uses greeters and its advertising promises lots of helpful associates, the motivation study is logging complaints that the associates aren’t as helpful as they need to be,” continues Jason.
“MarketViews recommends participant observation to determine just what form associate help is taking.”
“I’ve used MarketViews before with good results.”
“I’m meeting with MarketViews’ project director this afternoon to rough out the checklist. So I’m taking an early lunch and plan to visit the store one more time,” explains Sara. “We want to select specific locations for the interactions to take place and specific behaviors . . . like walking the customer to the aisle location versus giving directions to the location, finding the item in the aisle versus leaving the customer at the aisle entry. And I’ve come prepared,” says Sara as she comes from behind her desk wearing her Reebok running shoes.
“I’ll leave you to your own observation study then,” remarks Jason.