May 20, 2013
Kim Gravelle, PhD
Preparing to Conduct Research: Part 3
Team F’s Pet Palace wants to set itself apart from the competition. During the planning process, Pet Palace’s managers have come across a dilemma: pet supply sales are down because of competition from the online marketplace. This proposal will show that a small-scale, exploratory study is appropriate and necessary to make the steps required to correct this dilemma. This proposal contains the following: problem statement, research objectives, importance and benefits, research question, hypothesis, variables, research design, selected instrument, sampling method, data analysis, results, and ethical considerations. Research Problem and Purpose
Pet Palace is currently experiencing a decline in sales and customer retention. Managers have been told that customers have commented freely about buying pet supplies online because of the ease. This dilemma prompts Pet Palace’s managers to consider becoming an online retailer in addition to its physical location (aka becoming ‘bricks and clicks’).
The purpose of the research is to determine if becoming a ‘bricks and clicks’ business will generate more revenue. Specifically, management aspires to learn if the benefits of becoming ‘bricks and clicks’ outweigh the costs. This research will reveal how lucrative adding online sales can be for Pet Palace. Significance, Scope, Magnitude, and Feasibility
This research is important because without offering current customers new alternatives and reaching out to new customers, Pet Palace cannot stay competitive in the evolving retail market of pet supplies. Creating an online presence may keep the business one step ahead of its current competition and maximize its percentage of the market share. Generally, becoming a ‘bricks and clicks’ store will not only make the pet supply store more profitable and available, it will allow the business to evolve and grow while increasing exposure and opening up new avenues and ideas for the company to build on. To keep sales and revenue high, Pet Palace must find the most lucrative and low cost way to stay competitive in the pet supply market.
To keep up with the opposition becoming ‘bricks and clicks’ may show the fastest and most profitable results. The decision will be based on the outcome of the interviews and the quality of the responses. This research could spark the change necessary to take Pet Palace to the next level. This research has the potential for connecting with other business’ power players and learning insider information about expanding business to include an online presence. Expanding Pet Palace’s horizons to include an online presence has the potential for connecting to a larger, more diverse customer base and gaining maximum revenue. Collecting information from professionals who have encountered the same dilemma is the best starting route. Research Questions, Hypothesis, and Variables
This research will answer three questions:
1) What opportunities will come from adding an online storefront?
2) Does adding an online storefront retain and attract customers?
3) Will the benefits of adding an online storefront outweigh the costs? After careful consideration, the research team has hypothesized that becoming ‘bricks and clicks’ will outweigh the costs, and it will add and retain customers. The variables in this research are simple. Does adding an online storefront (independent variable) affect sales (dependent variable) and customer base (dependent variable)?
The design for this research will be exploratory studies, which is qualitative research. Schindler and Cooper (2011) define exploration as: The process of collecting information to formulate or refine management, research, investigative, or measurement questions, loosely structured studies that discover future research tasks, including developing concepts,...