Walmart Inc: Marketing Research for Consumer Perception

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Introduction

The Analysis and the observation of markets and the loyal customers are the strong foundation on which the success of the business relies and the effective strategy is built. The keen part of the research should be on the analysis and the research on the marketing trends to have a bird’ eye view on the competitors and continuous threats from them.

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Market research is the concept of researching simply to understand marketing effectively, retrieving the information about the business, customer perceptions, feedback, and the competitor and analysis. The market research is the result of the lack of marketing information and knowledge of the arising trends in the market. The various constraints of the market research are the internal customer information like the sales, orders, customers, stocks, profit, and feedback. Another constraint is the marketing intelligence, where the information can be collected from different sources lie the suppliers, customers, it includes the intelligence system in getting the market plans and the information.

Background of market research

Market research is a planned, organized, and established method to collect worth information regarding the market and the customers associated with them. Market research is a vital factor in business strategy. The research term is usually incorporated with marketing research, which is a wider concept.

Market research had its origin in late 1920 in the United States with the invention of the radio, in the later stage the owners began to identify the need for research as they found it much useful for the analysis of customer feedback and the perception.” Following World War II, the growth of marketing research increased dramatically. By 1948, more than two hundred Marketing Research organizations had been created in the United States. An estimated $50 million was spent on marketing research activities in 1947. Over the next three decades, this expenditure level increased more than tenfold (Kinnear, 1991)” (Market research: History of marketing research, 2010, para.4).

Definition of market research

Market research has different definitions by different authors, according to Green and Tull, “Marketing research is the systematic and objective search for, and analysis of, information relevant to the identification and solution of any problem in the field of marketing” (Marketing research and information system: A definition of marketing research, n.d. para.1).

Marketing association has defined market research as the function which interrelates the consumers, customers, and the people to the market by using the various in formations which are used to identify the opportunities and issues and used to control the certain actions that are involved. It helps in generating the results and analyzing the results and which are helpful and provide recommendations if necessary.

” Market research is usually made up of the following steps:

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  • Establishing objectives
  • Gathering information
  • Analyzing and interpreting data
  • Making decisions based on the information obtained” (Market research, 2008, para.2).

Selection of the company

The company selected here is Walmart Inc, Walmart Inc is a giant in the retail industry and has much of the operating platform in various countries. “The Walmart supercentres, Sam’s club, neighborhood markets, etc are walmart.com the company maintains 6900 stores and offices around the world with 2900 of its store located internationally. The average Wal-mart household income is $30,000 to $ 35, OOO and an average purchase of $30. Wal-mart Supercenters, located in 45 states, are larger stores that combine a full-line supermarket with discount department stores” (Plunkett, 2007).

Methodology of the research

It is a systematic procedure or step-by-step process in achieving a certain task or objective. It uses diverse ways in accomplishing the final result by incorporating different methods.

The Walmart store is the giant in the market and the performance of the company is much effective, the main idea of Walmart in conducting market research is to identify the various tastes and the preferences of the consumers and to customize the product accordingly, the market research also aims in understanding the competitors and to analyze the various activities of them. The research conducted here is the primary research.

Primary research

The primary research is conducted in Walmart which is found useful, the primary research is conducted by the use of questionnaires, survey methods.

The questionnaire is been distributed to the customers in the organization and they are provided by the open and close-ended questions, where the customers can give the opinion in their own words and also any opinion as to the suggestions. A survey is conducted by analyzing the customers and weights are used. “Many surveys use multiple modes of data collection, although there are many reasons for using more than one mode in the survey, three reasons are especially common, the first reason is that using a blend of methods may reduce costs” (Groves et al, 2009, p.175).

Literature Review

Perception is the procedure by which persons choose, categorize, and construe stimuli into a momentous and coherent image of the earth. Consumer perception is an estimate of actuality. Numerous sequential aspects manipulate the perception of the individual. Consumer performance is one of the main subjects that dealer utilizes to superior perceptive of the customer on how their performance respond at the time of arrival to purchasing judgment.

“Perception is a process which involves the recognition and interpretation of stimuli which register on our senses. In other words, perception relates to how we make sense of our environment and sensation refers to the basic stimulation of these sense organs” (Rookes & Wilson, 2000, pp. 1-2).

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Consumer Perception mainly influences the customer’s past practice and personal view that help the persons to investigate and construe incoming data and create a sense of it. Various factors influence the perception. Some of the important ingredients of the perceptions are Sensation, Complete threshold, Disparity threshold, and Hidden perception. Persons may perceive the world according to their own choice. “Perception is one of the oldest fields within scientific psychology, and there are correspondingly many theories about its underlying processes. The oldest quantitative law in psychology is the Weber-Fechner Law, which quantifies the relationship between the intensity of physical stimuli and their perceptual effects. It was the study of perception that gave rise to the Gestalt school of psychology, with its emphasis on holistic approaches” (Perception: Definition, 2010, para.3).

According To Wayne D.Hoyer, Deborah J. Macinnies in his book called Consumer behavior states about the hidden perception. He states that the idea of the perceptual threshold is vital for the occurrence of hidden or subliminal perception. Subliminal perception is diverse from the preattentive dealing out,

“Subliminal perception is the activation of sensory receptors by stimuli presented below the perceptual threshold. With subliminal perception, our attention is directed squarely at the stimulus is fully present” (Hoyer & Macinnis, 2008, p.87).

The author also says about how persons manage or integrate the visual data they recognize. Customer is inclined not to recognize or perceive a sole stimulus in segregation rather they manage and combine of many stimuli that customer must arrange into a combined entire using the Perceptual association. It is the procedure by which the how the stimuli are managed by the persons into meaningful components. Individuals perceive the world according to their choice. According to Figure and round theory, individuals understand stimuli in the circumstance of surroundings. In the case of the Closure, theory persons have been required to manage perceptions so with the intention of the structure a significant whole. Like in the case of, Grouping theory it is a tendency to categorize stimuli to figure a combined image or impression. (Consumer behavior by Wayne D.Hoyer, Deborah J. Macinnies.2008). According to Lars Perner in his Article called CONSUMER BEHAVIOR: THE PSYCHOLOGY OF MARKETING says that learning about customers assists businesses and organizations develop their marketing plans. Marketing research is frequently required to make sure that the manufacture of the company is met the needs and wants of the company. There are two main approaches to marketing. “Secondary research involves using information that others have already put together. Primary research, in contrast, is research that you design and conduct yourself” (Perner, 2010, para.11).

According to Charles Fishman in his book called the Wal –mart effect: how the World most powerful company works…says that Walmart is the earth’s largest vendor it functions, in the course of an enormous foundation of Wal-Mart supplies, supercenters of Wal-Mart, etc.” Wal-mart has done such a good job portraying itself as a deep discounter, it’s not a place expect to find the premium products” (Fishman, 2006, p.120).

He also says that the pricing policy of Wal-mart obliges a dissimilar and for a moment corrosive occurrence, one in which Wal-mart gradually but persistently rearranges with regards to a charge of the product and on the subject of its value. ( Wal –mart effect: how the world most powerful company works by Charles Fishman.2006)

According to Tamer4 in his article called Consumer perception says that the earth of marketing is an ever-altering area. Not merely for the reason, that customers’ requirements were modified but also for the reason that present-day dealers have further wealth than ever to arrive at probable consumers. Due to the emergence of the internet, it has created characteristics much easier and cheaper. This will also help to make a good affiliation using the human being in each nation they function it. (Consumer perception by Tamer4)

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According to Rajesh Rajaguru and Margaret J Matanda in his study called

Customer Loyalty within the Indian Retail Sector says that quickly altering customer attitudes on the subject of goods have encouraged vendors to build up novel positioning strategies to add to consumer loyalty. Novel retail arrangements and provisions are being constantly brought in and customary retail set-up requires discovering methods to keep hold of consumers. (Customer Loyalty within the Indian Retail Sector by Rajesh Rajaguru and Margaret J Matanda)

Market research process

The marketing research process begins with the identification of the problem and ends with the preparation of the research report. The marketing research process comprises the preparation of a research design or otherwise called the research plan in which the steps taken by the researcher in the insight of the objectives are stated. “Data collection is an integral part of the marketing research process. One of the most time-consuming parts of collecting data is determining what method the marketer should use to obtain the data” (Kurtz, MacKenzie & Snow, 2009, p.235). In this research process, we have conducted investigative research which mainly includes experience research which is a survey conducted among people who have practical experience regarding the topic. The second method used in this process is the case study analysis which consists of a study of illustrations that kindle insight. The third process used in the secondary data analysis consists of a survey of the existing literature regarding the concept. Research conducted shows that customer perceptions vary with products like the customer perception for a consumer product or automobile or electronic products cannot be measured using the same market research process. The correct use of market research methods in the measurement of customer perception increases the customer retention rate of a company. A survey conducted in the form of experience research is of great help in the marketing research process because it helps in the identification of the customer complaints as well as the lifetime value of the customer. This type of research conducted also reveals the priorities of the customer. In Wal- Mart all the important decisions are taken keeping the customer’s priorities in mind and the main goal of Wal-Mart is customer satisfaction.

Outcome of the research

The outcome of the research is the conclusion that is reached after conducting the research process. The outcome of the marketing research reveals the ambiguities in the current process. “Marketing research should focus on decisions to be made rather than the collection techniques used to gather information to facilitate decision making” (Stevens, 2006, p.2). The outcome of a marketing research process of customer perception in Wal-Mart is dependent on the uncertainties and the certainties of the surrounding marketing environment. “If the outcome of choosing one alternative over another is known, then choosing the right alternative would be simple, given the decision making criteria” (Stevens, 2006, p.2)

Evaluation of the study

The study has been conducted in full and all marketing research process has been carefully studied. Literature has been evaluated in full to understand the study. “Underlying references scales are used in the evaluation process” (Malhotra, 2004, p.246).

Research limitations

Marketing research designs are not always perfect. Marketing research limitations can be assessed based on the reliability and validity of the marketing research process. The limitations concerning the market research process are in the correct implementation of the research plan, time constraints, and the limitations of the process in the decision-making process. “Marketing Research faces time constraint. The firms are required to maintain a balance between the requirement for having a broader perspective of customer needs and the need for quick decision making to have a competitive advantage” (Limitations of marketing research, 2009, para.1).

Conclusion

Marketing research is a vital study to understand a firm’s marketing procedures and strategies and it should be done essentially to understand the marketing research process. The marketing research process is dependent upon the company as well as the product that the company is manufacturing. The limitations should be analyzed to remove the constraints. Recommendations have to be adopted to develop the study.

Recommendations if any

a)Benchmarking:

Benchmarking in terms of service delivery can be done to improve customer perception. Benchmarking is a process by which research is done outside one’s own company among the comparators to identify and adopt the practices or the features of another company. Marketing research should be conducted in benchmarking.

b)Deployment of a quality function department:

A quality function department can be established to measure customer perception. Research can be conducted to measure customer satisfaction regarding the product attributes and the customer’s attitude towards these product attributes. The quality function department can accordingly make alterations in the product according to the customer’s perceptions. “Marketing research is an invaluable part of QFD. Customer attributes are obtained through conjoint analysis or other forms of survey research” (Aakar, Kumar & Day, 2009, p.698).

c) Use of customer-centric and customer-oriented strategies:

Customer satisfaction measures should be used to assess the customer’s perceptions regarding the quality of the products and service of the company. The use of customer-centric measures like the customer relationship programs (CRP), the customer experience assessment (CEA), and customer feedback ratings (CFR) can be used to improve customers’ perceptions.

Reference List

  1. Aakar, D. A. Kumar, V. & Day, G. S., 2009. Marketing research. Wiley-India, p.698. Web.
  2. Fishman, C., 2006. The Wal-Mart effect: How the world’s most powerful company really works– and how it’s transforming the American economy. Penguin Group, p.120. Web.
  3. Groves, R. M. et al., 2009. Survey Methodology. John Wiley and Sons, p.175. Web.
  4. Hoyer, W. D. & Macinnis, D. J., 2008. Consumer Behavior. Cengage Learning, p.87. Web.
  5. Kurtz, D. L. MacKenzie, H. F. & Snow, K., 2009. Contemporary marketing. Cengage Learning, p.235. Web.
  6. Limitations of marketing research, 2009. Management Study Guide.
  7. Malhotra, N. K., 2004. Review of Marketing Research. M.E. Sharpe, p.246. Web.
  8. Market research: History of marketing research, 2010. Enotes.com.
  9. Marketing research and information system: A definition of marketing research, n.d. FAO. Web.
  10. Market research, 2008. Food Export Association.
  11. Perception: Definition, 2010. Word iQ.
  12. Perner, L., 2010. Consumer behavior: The psychology of marketing. USC Marshall. Web.
  13. Plunkett, J. W., 2007. The Almanac of American employers 2008: Market research, statistics and trends pertaining to the leading corporate employers in America. Plunkett Research, Ltd. Web.
  14. Rookes, P. & Wilson, J., 2000. Perception: Theory, development and organisation. Routledge, pp.1-2. Web.
  15. Stevens, R. E., 2006. The marketing research guide. Routledge, p.2. Web.

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BusinessEssay. "Walmart Inc: Marketing Research for Consumer Perception." January 7, 2022. https://business-essay.com/walmart-inc-marketing-research-for-consumer-perception/.