Chapter 3 Data Collection and Analysis
The retail business dealing with garments and accessories either works through the brand angle or mass production where price is the only differentiator. For companies like Zara, brand image is of importance since it is operating in the middle segment where it does not cater to the masses but not to the high net worth income category either. If we attempt to draw a perceptual map of competitor, then Zara would fall in the contemporary design and discount quadrant with H&M.
This research focuses on the customer satisfaction towards Zara and its impact on their market share. The study is an initial investigation of customer views and does not delve deeper into specifics of reasons or segmenting the responses into pattern of price or product quality etc. Customer satisfaction is the dependent variable and so is customer loyalty which depends on the independent variables like price, product, store layout, ease of purchasing, availability of sizes, colours, cuts etc.
The concept of research design is to declare a road map for the study in concern using justifiable methodologies and tools to bring about a distinct rigor and structure to the entire process. The idea behind the design is to help future researchers use the same process for similar studies in a reliable manner (Weisberg, Krosnick, & Bowen, 1989).
Types of Research
The mode of research depends on objectives of the study. There could be an attempt to define a cause and effect relationship or to describe a process or experience. The spectrum ranges from purely numerical and quantitative based studies to abstract issues like human psychology which is more dependent on qualitative aspects and would be better suited in a case study form. The sources of primary information, time and period of the occurrence of the issues and reliability of the existing data also influence the research type.
Descriptive research can be conducted either through quantitative means or qualitative or both depending on the budget and time available to perform the same. Any kind of study which deals with abstract or variable conditions like perception, emotions etc. need detailed narration rather than responses on a Likert – scale based study. This study specifically uses quantitative means. The survey method of research is helpful for data collection from a sample out of a larger population for the sole purpose of generalizing the findings (Fink, 1983). It is one of the most dependable forms of quantitative research to gather inference. If the findings are too adverse, then the researchers can move to the next level of investigation and conduct serious one to one analysis with a pool of customers and elicit complex relations in the buying behaviour towards Zara (Salant & Dillman, 1994).
The population of interest for this study are customers visiting the Zara store located in Melbourne. For a wider analysis, the population of men and women belonging to the 15 – 50 year age group based at Melbourne can be considered as the sampling frame.
The study is initially conducted at a primary level where the immediate customers are being investigated. The age group defined in the study depends on the clothing and accessories range of Zara and their targeted market segment. One hundred percent survey is not practical for this study due to budgetary constraints and benefits of the findings (Foxall, 2014). The costs of conducting such a census study would be a waste as compared to the returns. This research is thus being conducted by choosing a sample of respondents from the entire population.
The population of interest for studying the employee responses was limited to the personnel at the Zara store in Melbourne. Employees of different hierarchy were chosen from three departments – customer service, billing and inventory to seek their inputs. Here the study was mostly conducted on the entire population.
The research was undertaken in Melbourne city as an exploratory study. The researchers intend to discuss future scope of this study based on the outcome of their findings and the probable need for deeper investigation. The respondents for the survey were chosen for sampling using a random simple sampling method. The idea of random is to avoid any specific bias due to age or gender. For the employee part of the study, age was not considered. The gender and role in a function were identified.
The sample size of the study was 30 customers and 20 employees.
This study has been conducted using two separate questionnaires to collect the data. The questions are close ended in line with the research objectives. Since the customers visiting Zara store are being targeted for the study, the design is important to gather maximum data through fewer and distinct questions for the sake of convenience. Similarly, the employees were being questioned during their in-store working hours where time is of essence. Hence, the tool again needed to be sharp and precise.
The reason for using a questionnaire is two – pronged. It is a tool for disseminating information to the respondent about the motive of the study and seeking their approval to be part of it. The other purpose is to get rapid responses to the questions on a close – ended range of options to generate data that is reliable and can be measured accurately (Fowler, 1993).
The questionnaires used in this research are two distinct ones for customers and employees. The customer directed questionnaire consists of 15 questions while the employee aimed questionnaire has 10 questions. Two other information have been gathered in both the surveys. For customers, their age group and gender were gathered while in case of employees their gender and role in a function were collected. The blank questionnaire of both the surveys are attached in the Appendix for perusal.
Simple questions have been presented for unambiguous interpretation and response of the respondents (Maklan & Klaus, 2011). The option of answers has been designed to be close – ended using a five – point Likert scale. The scale measuring the responses use the following categories: 1 (Strongly Disagree), 2 (Disagree), 3 (Neither Agree or Disagree), 4 (Agree), and 5 (Strongly Agree). The research seeks inputs like age, gender, and role in the employment as it is presumed that they might have influence over the responses.
Since Inditex does not share individual brand performance in every market, the reliability of secondary data to draw inference is slim which has led to the need for primary investigation.
The research was completed in a week where all the 50 respondents (30 customers and 20 employees) were interviewed depending on footfalls in the store. The interviewer introduced themselves to the customers, explained the purpose of the research, provided with the number of questions and estimated time required to gather the responses. On receipt of consent from the customer or employee, the questions were asked, answers encircled on the questionnaire and finally the respondent was acknowledged for their responses.
The responses were entered in a tabular format in a Microsoft Excel workbook with the aim of sorting and filtering the data to generate meaningful information. Each question had an identification number.
A summary of the entire findings (presented in the Appendix) was prepared with mean, mode, and standard deviation pertaining to each question using the entire pool of 30 and 20 responses simultaneously.
Mean highlights the concentration of the data in either discrete or continuous dataset. The mode presents the common choice of majority of the respondents. While using nominal data, mode is often used for measurement. Standard deviation shows the dispersion between the concerned data and the mean. indicates the difference of the data in the data set from the mean. A low standard deviation means the data is closely connected to the mean while higher standard deviation indicates that the data at a significant distance from the mean.
The purpose of each question is explained below with the bar graph which gives a pictorial description of the responses for ease of comprehension.
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