Current Trends in the Consumer Behavior in Trade Industry in California and the Implications to Various Market approaches – Research Proposal Sample Paper

 Research Proposal

Topic: Current Trends in the Consumer Behavior in Trade Industry in California and the Implications to Various Market approaches

Introduction

Various marketing intellectuals and practitioners have intensely highlighted on the critical necessity for deliberating and explaining the consumer’s behaviour patterns in a manner increasingly efficient. Firms paying attention on the final markets are wrapped up in extremely competitive systems in which it is needed that their decision processes to be as correct as possible. In this sense, models of consumer behaviour are well thought-out as a precise case of marketing management support system, as much as they are marketing models and all over the time have confirmed to be a source of transcendental significance for the development of marketing discipline (Van and Wierenga, 2000). In spite of actual models of consumer behaviour not seeming to cover all the provisions that it should allegedly satisfy, it is a model which aims to aid on the marketing assessment creation. With respect to this aim, founded on Gatignon (2000), future models, considering both their theoretical and technical aspects, which try to explain consumers’ decision making will have to be clearly focused on users’ demand side requirements. This means that models must be more flexible, absolute and modified to the deliberate singularities of the competitive environment which their consumers work in. Thus, as the main problem that actually face firms oriented to consumer markets is not the availability of information / data, but the possession of necessary level of knowledge to take the right decisions, the use of avant-garde behavioural models able to exploit it may represent an essential source of competitive advantage (Sumathi  & Saravanavel, 2003).

Company Background

Wal-Mart is a large multinational retail organization in the US running various departmental stores dealing with discounts and warehouse stores. Its main objective is normally to be the leading corporation in retailing worldwide (Roberts, & Berg, 2012). Founded in 1962 by an American Retailer, Walton, it has achieved it objective as it has become one of the world’s leading retail corporation and largest private employer. Operation management mainly deals with the transformation of the production process together with inputs used in the corporation for operations into final products that will meet the needs and requirements of the final consumer.

In order for Wal-Mart to meet its objective as per the policies of operational management it employees various strategies in its operation. The existence of a perfect market in the economy provides competition to the Wal-Mart Corporation. To ensure they cope with competition in the market they have various operation strategies. Their strategy is to offer low prices every day to the customers in order to get a larger market share. There is also training of the employees to improve on quality services as they will competent in using information technology (Ireland, Hoskisson, & Hitt, 2008). They also create a barrier to entry by offering qualities at low prices and they normally produce their own supplies making it difficult for other firms to compete with it.

Research Objectives

The main objective of this project is to provide an assessment on the Current Trends in the Consumer Behavior in Trade Industry in California and the Implications to Various Market approaches based on a case study of Wal-Mart Stores in San Francisco City – California. The research objectives include:-

How the San Francisco customers pick out the Wal-Mart stores and whether this is the best low price alternative?

What are the new customer’s behaviour trends in the trade industry?

What are the key considerations that the California customers will have in purchasing the consumer products?

What are the impacts of the surroundings on the buyer decision making in the trade industry?

What are the implications of the fresh customers’ behavior trends on the marketing approaches in Wal-Mart San Francisco, California?

 

Paper structure

This study will first look into the review of the related theories and literature about the consumer decision making; then the study will be followed by a careful surrounding scrutiny of the market, industrial settings, comprehensive environment and internal analysis of Wal-Mart San Francisco, California. The key element of the study will be to focus on the customer behavior exploration which is followed by setting objectives of the corporation in term of the market share and financial objectives in the San Francisco, California based on the company’s cultures, mission, internal and external environments as well as its core value (Dinsmore & Rocha, 2012). And the next part regarding the marketing approaches includes the selection of generic strategies and the marketing merge plans. Finally the last part is to give an implementation and arrangement plan to the group for its future expansion and penetration into the large and fast growing California market.

Literature Review

Various reviews by Isen (1984) and Gardner (1985) provide insights into the current way the customer behavior literature is organized. Isen concerted her analysis on customer attitude creation and ration behavior. In order to extrapolate from the mental literature to marketing, Gardner (1985) analyzed the study in psychology that investigated the impact of customer behavior and judgments and her analysis concluded in three recommendations. First, mood states upon exposure to and retrieval of information may affect an individual’s ability to recall the information. Mood states may bias judgements in mood congruent directions since mood-congruent items are more accessible from memory (Gardner 1985). Secondly, optimistic moods increase the probability that individuals will engage in behaviors with predictable positive result and reduce the likelihood that persons will engage in behaviors with expected negative results (Gardner 1985). Thirdly, affirmative moods may also increase the possibility that positive associations to a particular behavior will be available in recall and therefore boost the chances that the behavior will be performed (Gardner 1985).

Both reviews have added to our general understanding of the association of mood to consumer behavior. Nevertheless neither of the approach is organized in a way that suggests the full range of likely effects of mood on consumers’ response in the market (Hoyer & MacInnis, 2008). The reviews also suggest that the effects of mood on the buying process are fairly all-encompassing. Mood may influence different factors at different points of the buying process. Additionally, current study by Gardner and Mill (1986) demonstrates that mood states have an impact on and are impacted by consumers’ behavior during the buying course. With this viewpoint in mind, each stage of the buying course will be scrutinized, concentrating on mood effects (Pride & Ferrell, 2008).

Research design

One major hypothesis in this study is that with the development of the economy and rapid social development in California as well as the existence of fast changes in the consumer buying behaviors and decision making process which have great influences over the marketing strategies and company business objectives setting. And case study in Wal-Mart Stores in San Francisco City – California in the trade industry would be adopted as the major research design method.

Research Methodology

This section brings in the process we propose to perform the knowledge on the Current Trends in the Consumer Behavior in Trade Industry in California and the Implications to Various Market approaches. The methodology will rely on the research questions and any data to be collected will be centered to answering / providing more knowledge on the research problem (Kothari, 2011). Data collection as traditionally done in marketing is extracted by means of a questionnaire and opinion polls in a similar way to the models estimated by structural equation modelling. This data should then provide clear explanations on how the San Francisco customers pick out the Wal-Mart stores and whether this is the best low price alternative. It should also provide a clear position on the implications of the fresh customers’ behavior trends on the marketing approaches in Wal-Mart San Francisco, California as well as key considerations that the California customers will have in purchasing the consumer products. The study should establish that the consumer buying behaviour is the result of the needs and wants of the consumer and they therefore buy to satisfy these needs and desires. Even though it may sound clear and simple, these needs can be various depending on the individual factors such as age, psychology and individuality. There are some other exterior factors which are broad and beyond the power of the consumer and therefore the study be able to provide all this distinctions and explanations.

          References

Bagozzi, R. P., Gurhan-Canli, Z., & Priester, J. R. (2002). The social psychology of consumer behaviour. Philadelphia, Pa: Open University.

Dinsmore, P. C., & Rocha, L. (2012). Enterprise project governance: A guide to the successful management of projects across the organization. New York: AMACOM.

Gatignon, H. (2000), “Commentary on Peter Leeflang and Dick Wittink´s “Building models form marketing decisions: past, present and future””, International Journal of Research in Marketing.

Gardner, Meryl P. (1985), “Mood States and Consumer Behavior: A Critical Review,” Journal of Consumer Research, 12 (3), 281-300.

Hoyer, W. D., & MacInnis, D. J. (2008). Consumer behavior. Mason, OH: South-Western.

Isen, Alice M. (1984), “Toward Understanding the Role of Affect in Cognition,” in Handbook of Social Cognition, Robert Wyer, Jr. and Thomas Srull, eds. Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum, 179-236.

Ireland, R. D., Hoskisson, R. E., & Hitt, M. A. 2008. Understanding business strategy: Concepts and cases. Mason, OH: South-Western Cengage Learning.

Kothari, C. R. (2011). Research Methodology: Methods and Techniques. New Delhi: New Age International Ltd.

Pride, W. M., & Ferrell, O. C. (2008). Foundations of marketing. Boston, Mass: Houghton Mifflin.

Roberts, B. R., & Berg, N. 2012. Wal-Mart: Key insights and practical lessons from the world’s largest retailer. London: Kogan Page.

Van Bruggen, G.H., Wierenga, B. (2000), “Broadening the perspective on marketing decision models”, International Journal of Research in Marketing.

Sumathi, S., & Saravanavel, P. (2003). Marketing research and consumer behaviour. New Delhi: Vikas Pub.

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