Benefits of both qualitative and quantitative approaches

NTUC FairPrice Co-Operative is the largest Singapore based supermarket chain. The organisation is a co-operative of the National Trades Union Congress (NTUC). The chain has more than 120 outlets across the island serving 430,000 shoppers daily, comprising FairPrice supermarkets, FairPrice Finest and FairPrice Xtr. In 1999, NTUC introduced its convenience stores, FairPrice Xpress and Cheers with a network spanning over 160 convenience stores island wide and serves over 100,000 customers daily.


Lately the revenue generated from FairPrice Xtr outlets was found to be below expectation. The management are interested to conduct a research study amongst shoppers to identify the marketing problem and the steps that will enable them to make a marketing decision on service improvements.

Provide justifications on adopting either a qualitative or quantitative research to understand consumer needs by comparing and contrasting the applications and limitations of both approaches. Your answer should include examples of business situations of both qualitative and quantitative approach.

Given the benefits of both qualitative and quantitative approaches, management have tasked you to design a 2 stage research study on shopper behaviour: 1) A Focus Group Study and 2) A Questionnaire Survey. The results obtained will be submitted as a report to uncover the factors that motivate shoppers to patronise Fairpirce Xtr.

1) Focus Group Study – As a facilitator of the focus group, explain how you would go about planning and conducting the focus group. The factors identified during the focus group will be used to develop the questionnaire for the next phase. A maximum of ten themes are expected from the focus group discussion.

2) Questionnaire Survey – In the second stage, propose how you would go about selecting respondents for your study. Provide a discussion on the benefits of using probability and non-probability sampling.

NTUC operates a loyalty membership card scheme. Union members are automatically issued the card. Non-union members could apply for the membership card. All cards could be linked to automated payment scheme either through VISA or Masters. Points are incurred with each purchase and shoppers could offset payments with point incurred. Provide suggestions as how NTUC could make use of this information. Your answer should include limitations for using this information for decision making.

Learning Outcomes Assessed:

1. Develop and design research to address a given business scenario

2. Compare the advantages and disadvantages of qualitative and quantitative research techniques

3. Explain the differences between probability and non-probability sampling.

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