This video is going to cover observational research significance of research design, process of research design which is one of the types of exploratory research significance of research design, process of research design that we have now unlike secondary research significance of research design, process of research design observational research significance of research design, process of research design does require for you to go out and actually collect data which means you’re able to actually address more specific research significance of research design, process of research design questions that you might have now we can spend a whole semester on good methods for observational research significance of research design, process of research design but instead we’re actually just going to focus on a small piece of this so you can get a flavor of what observational research significance of research design, process of research design looks like and one of the ways for us to think about what observational research significance of research design, process of research design is is actually to consider the advantages and disadvantages so observational research significance of research design, process of research design is by definition an unobtrusive observation of people behaving in whatever manner they happen to be behaving in the moment you actually interact with a person we’re not in observational land anymore and so some of the advantages of this are well it’s unobtrusive people are going to behave the way that they normally behave and that’s fantastic we get to observe them without influencing their behavior in any way the data you often get from observational research significance of research design, process of research design are incredibly rich i mean think about it people are out in the wild doing what they do very typical observations might happen in a shopping center where people are out going to stores picking up products touching them feeling them seeing how they interact maybe transacting maybe not maybe interacting with sales clerks maybe not all of that can be captured in an observational setting and what’s really kind of important is this can be very vivid information that is used to convince higher-ups about decisions you want them to make now to be clear that is not good marketing research significance of research design, process of research design practice but we live in the real world not only do you have to collect good data that should support any contentions that you have but you need to be able to communicate that effectively and convince people well i think a perfect solution is some version of good quantitative data with large samples good measures good statistics complemented with some qualitative data like observational studies where you have videos of people behaving in their natural environment and those behaviors actually support the conclusions that you drew from the more quantitative research significance of research design, process of research design anyway the disadvantages for observational research significance of research design, process of research design are that you typically have small and non-representative samples well it’s hard to go out and observe thousands or hundreds of thousands of people because it’s expensive to do and so what that means is you have small samples and they tend not to be representative of all populations but rather hyper localized to wherever you happen to observe them if you’re observing in one supermarket over another well maybe that supermarket is different maybe that supermarket isn’t an affluent area or a less affluent area it doesn’t really speak to people in general but only speaks to that little small ecosystem so be very careful of the conclusions you draw because they might not generalize beyond that you often don’t have quantitative data that you can actually speak to there’s nothing to crunch there’s no data to analyze and draw meaningful statistically and scientifically valid conclusions rather it’s more suggestive of behaviors in general and again that’s fine if that’s your initial step but if you’re using that for decision making that’s when you start getting into trouble so to kind of make this case why observational research significance of research design, process of research design can be so powerful one of my favorite books one that i pretty much recommend to all students is this book why we buy by paco underhill now paco underhill was a very successful consultant who i would say changed quite a bit of what happened in the retail environment and he did it largely through observational research significance of research design, process of research design.
So what i’m going to do is i’m going to put a few facts on the screen about grocery stores which are a place where pocahontas did quite a bit of work and what i’d like to do is at least pause for a moment and think about why these things might be true and i’ll show you what they are in just a second so our first question is why are frequently purchased items like bread and milk typically towards the back of a supermarket think about that for a second so what’s funny about this one is there’s two answers to this the answer that paco underhill will tell you is that it increases what we call incidental purchases we know that many people who shop in stores they don’t plan out every single purchase that they’re going to make instead they just pick stuff up along the way and if the things they always needed the staple goods right like the breads the milks and the eggs or right at the front of the store next to the cash register well they just walk in the store buy their milk and eggs and leave and they never have a chance to buy extra things those incidental purchases so stores put those in the back to force you to at least walk through the store once before getting the things you meant to come for increasing incidental purchases and that’s great so that’s answer number one turns out there’s a second answer and actually i’ll provide a link for you uh to a wonderful npr story that talks about the cold chain and in particular talks about the fact that in order to maintain the cold continuity of produce that needs to remain cold like think milk think eggs think dairy those refrigerated shelves need to be as close to the loading dock as possible which tends to be at the back of a store so the truck pulls up it’s refrigerated you take it out of the truck that’s not refrigerated but as quickly as possible you put it back into your refrigerated storage spaces which happen to be towards the back of the store and if you ask a whole bunch of grocers which one is true they kind of look at you and they say yeah it’s probably both so it’s a nice example of where observational research significance of research design, process of research design looking to see that people are buying incidental things that people are buying things that they weren’t planning to buy informed some of the structure of a supermarket though there may also be secondary reasons for it anyway the next thing you might want to ask is well why is the grocery cart the size that it is right it could be smaller it could be bigger so again think about that for a second well the grocery cart is actually often used as a queue to tell you when you’re done shopping if the grocery cart were teeny tiny then you just put a few items in it and you’d leave and you wouldn’t have the opportunity to fill it out and so making it bigger allows people to actually buy more that queue of are you done shopping has not been reached yet because you have a bigger cart now there’s a limit to this of course and the limit is the aisle width so every store has to manage two things they want as many products as they possibly can but they also have to let people navigate the aisles so how big you make them is going to be a function of the grocery cart size if the grocery cart is gigantic well yes you’re gonna allow people to buy more stuff on the other hand you’re gonna take away space from selling products and give it towards room for the carts to actually move so the observation there was well people wouldn’t stop when they were done shopping in the sense that they finished all their needs in the sense that they got everything they needed rather they’d stop when their cart was full so somebody noticed that and said wait a second we should be very mindful about the size of shopping carts so the next one is that store brands are typically placed to the right of named or national brands in grocery stores so if i’m facing a store on the right is where the store brand is and on the left is where the named national brand is why might that be so it turns out in the united states most people are right-handed and the thing that you should know is that store brands tend to have a higher margin for grocers than the national brands and so everything that a grocery store can do to encourage sales of slightly higher margin products is worth doing and if i tend to reach with my right hand well i have a slight preference to things that happen to be easier to reach which means i’m more likely to buy those store brand products hopefully increasing margins for the grocery store and again people notice this well look people aren’t systematically switching left versus right hand when they shop they always tend to use the right hand if they’re right-handed and most people in the united states are right-handed so you use that information to inform the structure of how you lay out your grocery store so here’s another one about sidedness why are high profit items on the right side of an aisle as you go into the grocery store so you’re heading in on the right side are the high profit high margin items compared to the left side think about that for a second and it has nothing to do with handiness well it turns out in the u.s we walk on the right side of the street we drive on the right side of the street and if you’re going into the store you’re more likely to have more space in your shopping cart so if you’re going to be grabbing an incidental item you’re going to be grabbing one that is a higher margin item the opposite should be true in the uk where you drive on the left side of the street and so you would have an opposite result there again small effect but it could actually increase margin for a grosser which is all that they need now remember this is a costless decision put it on right and put on the left it really doesn’t matter that much but if you could increase margin ever so slightly by putting it on the right well you do it so the last one should be an easy one why are fruit loops cocoa puffs things of that nature on lower shelves than let’s say healthier cereal like kellogg’s corn flakes well hopefully this one’s straightforward enough kids when they go to the store they grab a cereal box that looks pretty and has cool decorations advertised towards them they might grab that hand it to their parent and say i want what i want and they’re not going to do that if it’s sitting high up on a shelf so someone noticed that children are feeding these things to their parents to buy and the children are the decision makers so if the product is being advertised towards children with colorful imagery and fun characters you put that at a lower shelf level so they have the accessibility to actually reach that so this is just one example of one retail setting looking at how observations and specifically just unobtrusive observations can make a dramatic impact on how you lay out your store shelves now i hope that none of the grocery stores did this all on a whim just by watching one or two people do this i hope they use this as an impetus to actually go out and test these ideas and validate that they work and then roll them out nationally or internationally and if they do work and if these are successful with that follow-on research significance of research design, process of research design you can make real meaningful changes to the bottom line of grocery stores and just to be clear when i say observation this doesn’t have to be a person following someone around a grocery store it could be a series of cameras located strategically to see how people are behaving and so long as you can observe the natural behavior that people are engaging in without intervening you can get a lot of information out of them so again to conclude observational research significance of research design, process of research design super powerful for initial hypothesis generation not very useful for making decisions it is useful however for getting you ideas to then follow up on in the next video we’ll look at a different form of exploratory research significance of research design, process of research design ethnographic research significance of research design, process of research design.
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