Develop research strategy skills for business analysis.
You are a manager at a small grocery store chain. In your role it is your responsibility to oversee all aspects of the day to day functioning of your store. This includes the customer experience, sales, management of employees, inventory, etc. Over the previous six months, you have identified a slow decline in sales. The home office has taken notice as well and is applying pressure to turn things around. You have been in this position for 3 years and plan to apply for a general manager position when one becomes available. However, if you are unable to increase your sales numbers, this will not be possible.
In order to identify the cause in the decline, you will have to assess all aspects of your operation. Many factors can contribute to declining sales, such as customer service, price points, or even location. However, you are aware that a major competitor has recently began an online pick-up and delivery service to provide added convenience for their customers, and you believe this may be a contributing factor for the drop in your sales figures. You have mentioned this to the general manager and have gotten a lukewarm response. In order to stay competitive, you have decided to explore whether the lack of an online service component is affecting your in-store sales and what research strategies you will employ to make the determination.
You have decided to formalize your concerns to management in the form of an internal memo. The memo will concisely identify the problem and include a review of the literature that analyzes pros and cons of adding an online pick-up and delivery service at your store. Taking the information, you have gleaned from the literature search, you will then identify the research strategies you will employ to determine whether adding the online services for your customers would increase sales.
In Microsoft Word create the internal memo and include the following:
Brief introduction that provides context for your inquiry including a persuasive argument for moving forward with your research.
Statement of the business problem that includes a dependent and independent variable.
A review of the literature that includes at least four references to published resources that includes both primary and secondary data (articles, annual reports, company websites, industry surveys)
An analysis of the research strategy you will use to determine whether you will move forward with adding online services (survey, focus group, observation, content analysis, case studies etc.)
A conclusion that explains the importance of moving forward with your research.
Primary versus secondary sources FAQ
Company & Industry Information page of School of Business Guide – recommended databases for researching companies and industries
Consumers & Demographics page of School of Business Guide – recommended databases for researching consumer trends and demographics
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