During my investigations I have found out information in two forms of research, primary (field) and secondary (desk). For my primary research I was a member of a market research group. Other members of my group included Mark Bain, Ben Gardner, Tom Ellard, Ben Bailey and Daniel Corcoran. Together, as a group, we created a questionnaire for members of the public to give us information on the Internet and clothing and retail issues associated with the Internet. We did this so that we could best advise the directors of Top Gear plc, as to whether introducing a website into the company would be beneficial, as a whole, to the firm.
In designing the questionnaire there were many factors that we had to take into account before producing actual questions. First we decided that all questions in our questionnaire must be clear, unambiguous and give simple results. There are two reasons why we decided this. The first was that the people being interviewed would be able to fill out the questionnaire quickly and with ease so that they would be more willing to take part in the questionnaire, the quicker questionnaires can be filled out the more results can be taken so we were left with more accurate wider range of results.
The second reason was that we would be left with statistical data which we could easily convert into graphical form and enable us to make clear accurate judgements from our findings. Once we had decided on the questions that we thought would be most practical to use we had to choose the most efficient method of sampling. Sampling is the system of choosing a sample of the public that would best represent the widest range of different types of people.
The reason sampling is used is because conducting primary research on everybody who may or may not use the product would take a long time and would be inefficient so a method of sampling is used. There are two main types of sampling. The first type is random sampling. Random sampling involves the use of a computer to select the people to be interviewed in such a way that everybody has an equal chance of being selected and many different types of people can be selected.
The main drawbacks of random sampling are that it is very time consuming and requires access to the technology that carries out this method of sampling. We did not have the time or access to the technology required so this method was too inefficient for our market research group to use. Our market research group used the second main type of sampling, which is quota sampling. Quota sampling involves a certain amount of people being interviewed and, out of this amount; a certain number of each type of people must be interviewed.
We used this method, as it was the most efficient and practical for us to use. From the primary research conducted by our market research group we found many things. One of the things we found was that a large amount of the people interviewed (over 75%) has the Internet. A small portion of the people interviewed are considering getting the Internet and less than 10% of the people interviewed did not and are not considering getting the Internet. This evidence is shown in a graph produced by our market research group and can be found in the appendices (Ni??
8. ). Our primary research also showed us that the age range of people using the Internet tended to be more among young people and reduced among older generations. The only difference in this pattern was the 26-35 year old range. This age range of people had less people using the Internet than 46-55 year olds using the Internet. This information shows us that younger people use the Internet more than older people except the 26-35 year old age range. This information can be seen in the appendices (Ni?? 9. ).
We also found from our primary research that the largest group of people who shop online is the under 16, but surprisingly the next highest group is the 36-45 with the two groups in between, 16-25 and 26-35, having fewer people shopping online. This information can be found in graphical form in the appendices (Ni?? 10. ). As an alternative to shopping online we asked people whether they preferred to shop online or in store. The results showed us that most people preferred to shop in store as opposed to online, as can be seen by our graph in the appendices (Ni?? 11. ).
For my secondary research I found information from adverts in newspapers and magazines and from articles in journals. I found that many popular high street shops, such as JDsports and JJBsports, advertised their shops and products in magazines and, as I have observed, people respond to these advertisements and want to buy the products they advertise. Using advertisements is an alternative way of selling more clothes than introducing a website and seems to have proved affective in the past. Advertisements for popular clothing retail stores usually advertise the store’s websites as well as products.
After having visited websites for these companies, such as JJBsports (www. jjb. co. uk), I have found that some of these popular clothing retailers do not offer online shopping, as can be seen in item Ni?? 12. of the appendices. I have also observed that many stores that do offer online shopping, JDsports (www. jdsports. co. uk) for example, have slow websites and various faults that do not make them very user friendly and could deter consumers from purchasing goods online. Some websites, such as JDsports website, also offer promotional bonuses to consumers buying online.
JDsports, for example, offer a free FM radio with every purchase of a backpack this can be seen in item Ni?? 16. of the appendices. In another part of my secondary research I found that in other industries online shopping has been a huge success. One main example of a successful website is Amazon (www. amazon. com) who started as an online bookstore with no retail outlets and after huge success became the biggest bookseller in the world. Although sites such as Amazon have been a huge success people have tried to do similar things with online clothing, such as Boo (www.boo. com).
As can be seen from item Ni?? 13. of my appendices Boo attempted to start up one of the first online only clothing retailers in 1999. Unfortunately the idea of Boo did not take off as expected and as a result there were very little sales and the company eventually collapsed. This shows that consumers are less willing to purchase clothes online, especially from less well-established companies, though consumers will visit the websites to view products and see what may be found in store, thus using the websites as a virtual shop window for the business.
If Top Gear plc were to introduce a website that offered the consumer online shopping, they may find that many consumers are unwilling to purchase goods online and, as a result, Top Gear plc might find that their website is not very profitable. Also if Top Gear plc introduce a website that is not very fast and has many faults, they may find the website is very unsuccessful as consumers will be less willing to purchase goods online from Top Gear plc if it is time consuming and difficult to do so.
Conversely, it is possible that if Top Gear plc do not introduce a website, other business’ in the retail clothing industry that have set up websites which have become well established, may take over the retail clothing industry and, the consequence of this may be, that companies such as Top Gear plc who do not introduce websites into their companies may suffer greatly reduced sales as the majority of sales may then be made online as this form of purchasing, together with the increase in internet usage, becomes more convenient and popular. Conclusion In conclusion I have found that many items of my research are reliable although some are not.
For instance the primary research which I conducted was all gathered from one area of the country and so did not provide an accurate set of data on national or international consumer facts or opinions. Sampling is the system of choosing a sample of the public that would best represent the widest range of different types of people so the sample of people interviewed by our market research group was not as wide as it could have been as it only covered a small area of the country. A better method of sampling could be used to carry out more research, which would produce statistical data on national or international consumers.
Although this would provide more accurate data on consumers in more areas an outside research group may have to be used to collect the data or more people would be needed to conduct the research. Carrying out this research would cost more and would take more time and so could not be done for this report but if the directors of Top Gear plc do decide to investigate further into the possibility of introducing a website into Top Gear plc would be helpful as it would give statistical data on a wider range of people in different areas.
Some of my secondary research, such as the rise and fall of boo. com article (item Ni?? 14. of the Appendix), was slightly outdated and as a result may need an updated version of the data to be compiled through further research to observe whether consumer information has changed since the previous research was conducted and give the directors of Top Gear plc a better view of the online consumers thoughts towards online shopping and purchasing clothes over the internet.