Definition of Research Proposal

 

Assessment Task 1
Draft of Background and Problem Definition of Research Proposal
Provide a draft of your Background and Problem Definition using the four headings below. Please refer to the detailed guidelines for Assessment Task 2 to assist you with this task.
Assessment Task 2
The Research Proposal is fundamental to ensuring any research conducted is relevant, timely and cost effective. This Task will allow you to develop a full research proposal incorporating all stages of the research process.

 

 

 

TASK 1:

 

Draft of Background and Problem Definition of Research Proposal 

 

 


Provide a draft of your Background and Problem Definition using the four headings below.  Please refer to the detailed guidelines for Assessment Task 2 to assist you with this task. 
Background to the problem (highlight the key issues/symptoms that have led to the problem/opportunity arising – use point form to summarise).
•    This study is about 2 important aspects which are 1- Consumer buying behaviour and 2- mode of shopping that are traditional and e-shopping  
•    This topic is falling under marketing and behavioural study of people (especially Indian consumer particularly) which will lead further research on these two fields.  
•    The study is intended to explore the reasons behind changes in consumer buying behaviour in respect to buying mode. The study is trying to identify the motivation of people to go for online shopping more and more than traditional shopping. 
•    The is looking at the strategical move of Amazon Inc. to invest more and more in Indian market for expanding e-retailing.  
Management decision (what is the decision management have to make that research will assist with? – in question form).
This is an independent research which is done for Amazon Inc. strategic move to invest in Indian market for expansion of e-retailing in India. The research is going to help Amazon Inc. to understand the interest towards online shopping and how behaviour modification can take place who fears e-shopping till date. (How behavioural modification for online shopping can take place?)
Research question (from a research perspective what information is required to answer the management problem?).
•    Primary question- What is the motivation behind online shopping behaviour of Indian consumer?
•    Secondary questions- 
1.    How consumer behaves in case of traditional shopping and e-shopping?
2.    What are the strengths and weaknesses with e-shopping that can be addressed?
3.    What are the future prospects of online shopping in India?  
(Information) Objectives (specific information required to address the research problem – must be in objective form. As a guide, minimum of three and no more than six). 
•    To understand consumer behaviour in both traditional and e-shopping.
•    To identify the difference in consumer behaviour in both modes.
•    To identify motivational factors that can drive for more e-retailing. 
•    To estimate the future of e-retailing (for Amazon specifically) in Indian market. 
 
 

 

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TASK 2:-

 

Abstract

 

 
The definition of marketing has changed over last two decades. This term is now no more limited to any specific region or place. The first change took place when the world accepted globalization and privatization where many barriers were removed for inter-region transfer of goods and also entrepreneurs where allowed to set up their business in other regions. It is the reason why we see concepts of global companies or multi-national companies like Microsoft, Coca-Cola, General Motors, KFC etc. On one hand marketing concept was changing on the other hand we witnessed change in technology and as the days past, marketer integrated their operation with technology. This gave rise to “E-commerce” or “online marketing” or “network marketing”. Today we see this form of marketing is getting more popularity and hopefully a day will come when it will surpass traditional shopping figures. 
This report is basically trying to identify the buying behaviour with e-shopping. The research is addressing the buying behaviour of Indian customer towards e-retailing. As this report is an independent marketing study for Amazon Inc., this report is going to reveal the facts of high interest for e-shopping and how Amazon can address the issues going with online shopping that affect buying behaviour so that in future that can be minimised or removed. This report is going to help Amazon its business in one of its biggest market India.  

 


Introduction    

 


Internet is one of the widely used communication medium across the world. Today it is not restricted to sharing files and data or for chatting with people or for doing business work as this medium is now used as a platform or medium of sale which we say “e-marketing”. [Goldsmith, R.et.al1992] What brought so much success of online shopping is the benefits or advantages that it gave to consumers. For ex- Up to date information about product and services, comparison of product and services, convenient of buying at any place etc. became the important factors for buying decisions. It is the young population that is getting more attracted towards online shopping as they are getting desired items which they don’t get nearby shops. There are some issues with e-shopping such as data stealing, cheating with product delivery etc. which are concerning people to opt online especially when it comes high value purchase. 
In this study, we are going to look at all these behavioural factors of consumers with online shopping where we are taking Indian consumer as the population under study and Amazon as the e-marketer. 

 


Background   

 


Here are the key terms that we are going to use multiple times under this study-
Consumer Behaviour- It is the field of behavioural study which deals with individual customers or groups or organizations select, buy, use and dispose ideas, goods and services to fulfil their needs and wants. It refers to the actions of consumer in market and underlying motive of their action. It is the study that helps marketers to understand motive behind each buying. This helps marketer what to offer and what to remove from market.[ Gehrt et.al. 2012]
E-commerce/online shopping- Electronic Commerce or online marketing or shopping is the medium of buying and selling of merchandise or service over internet network. The platform includes computers, applications, software solutions, servers, firewall, anti-virus etc. The medium doesn’t include any middleman or intermediary which traditional mode of marketing has. Even there is no personal contact of seller and consumer. It is open 24*7 and 365 days for the consumers to carry out their transaction. [Holzwarth, M et.al2006]
This study is going to extend the understanding about consumer behaviour in today’s date with e-shopping experience. This will solve the problem of marketer to manage product and service portfolio and also to select the medium of selling. As the research is for Amazon Inc. in India, [Sinha, P.K. et.al2006] this research will help the organization to expand its operation and bring more people to use e-sites for buying goods and services.  The study is taking Indian consumer behavioural study and it is limiting its scope to Amazon e-commerce only. 

 


Management decision

 


How behavioural modification for online shopping can take place? – This is the decision making case for the Amazon Inc. in its Indian market. As Amazon Inc. identified Indian market has higher potential to generate revenue and have a long term successful business, this particular behavioural study towards online purchasing will provide a ground level idea to Amazon. This research study will provide the information whether Amazon will have really a scope to make business at large scale for long time with the diverse consumer or traditional shopping will still dominate over online shopping. 

 


Literature Review

 

  
1.    Hasslinger, A., Hodzic, S. and Opazo, C., 2008. Consumer behaviour in online shopping.
This research study is about understanding the key factors that influence the consumer to buy from e-commerce sites. Here the researcher conducted the survey with students in order to understand their behavior towards online shopping. For the purpose better result analysis, the research conducted his research with 200 students where the primary data were collected through questionnaire method. From the analysis, he came to know that student are using e-commerce website majorly for fun purpose while only 3% using it primarily for shopping. They are using e-shopping as tertiary purpose. The detail analysis provided the fact that price, trust and convenience are the three factors that are influencing towards online shopping. Price is identified as the most favorable factor while confidence on product quality and durability is identified as the least favorable factor. 
2.     Gefen, D., Karahanna, E. and Straub, D.W., 2003. Trust and TAM in online shopping: An integrated model. MIS quarterly, 27(1), pp.51-90.
This study is conducted on one of the key important perspective of online hopping i.e. e-vendor and the IT system through which e-vendor offers its product and service. The researchers here tried to establish correlation between these aspects with online shopping behavior. The researcher found that experienced or repeat online shoppers show higher confidence on e-commerce sites and vendors and also favored ease of use (TAM). The variance analysis provided the reasons of gaining confidence with every time usage are- a belief that vendor won’t gain anything from cheating, a belief of safety mechanism is provided to build trust for the shoppers, the vendor is having typical interface and finally easy to use application or website. 
3.    Dash, S. and Saji, K.B., 2008. The role of consumer self-efficacy and website social-presence in customers' adoption of B2C online shopping: an empirical study in the Indian context. Journal of international consumer marketing, 20(2), pp.33-48.
This research study is based on the key attributes that B2C business are looking for to gain the confidence of customer to buy online. The empirical study has focused on the consumer centric behavioral factors that are not under the control of these e-commerce firms. The study was conducted from Indian perspective where the researcher tried to explore role of consumer self-efficacy and website social presence in attaining the confidence of consumers in B2C shopping. They also identified the factors that are hindering the growth as trust o vendor, perceived usefulness and perceived risk factor of product and service quality or any other attributes. The researcher from their study identified that consumer self-efficacy and social presence of the vendor are the two important factors that can boost up confidence. 
4.    . Thamizhvanan, A. and Xavier, M.J., 2013. Determinants of customers' online purchase intention: an empirical study in India. Journal of Indian Business Research, 5(1), pp.17-32.
This is descriptive study report that talked about the emergence of online retail industry in Indian market which ASSOCHAM projected about 7000 crore INR by 2015 with a growth rate of 35%. The researcher is trying to bring the key factors or determinants that the web-retailers or e-commerce players need to consider for the Indian consumer. The study provided the fact that impulsive buying nature, brand orientation and quality orientation are the three major factors that Indian consumers look most of the times while buying any product. The report also highlighted the fact that male population are more intended to buy from online than female.  The research also provided technology literacy as one of the concern in Indian e-retailing business. 
5.    Upadhyay, A., Pathak, A. and Singh, N., 2017. Evolution of online shopping: E-commerce. Evolution, 3(6).
This research is also based on the key determinants that online shoppers are looking at gaining confidence among the diverse Indian customers. The report brought us to know that e-retailer takes brand image, fair policy for the product and pricing and more importantly consumer relation as the key factors for success in India. Apart from the price and trust that we identified earlier, it is the discount offering and faster and safer delivery to the door step of customers that are attracting Indian customers now-a-days. The report also revealed that Amazon has the maximum market share in e-retailing in India closely followed by Indian e-retailer Flipkart. 
6.    Solomon, M.R., Dahl, D.W., White, K., Zaichkowsky, J.L. and Polegato, R., 2014. Consumer behavior: Buying, having, and being (Vol. 10). Pearson.
  The study focused on how consumer buying behaviour effects advertising, product and service planning, brand management, segmentation, positioning and pricing and distribution strategy of an organization. The book tells about how buying behaviour is changed or modified from individual or group or cultural influences. For ex- A person who is looking for an electronic gadget got influenced by a techy which led him to buy that specific product only. This also talks about “stages in buying behaviour”. According to the authors, buying behaviour steps remain same but with the nature of product and services, addition and subtraction of steps take place.
The book also brought the fact that ethnicity and culture are the two most important factors for buying decision making. For ex- buying wine or liquor in European country is a normal case but when it comes to India then it is taken negatively. 
7.    Cheung, C.M., Chan, G.W. and Limayem, M., 2005. A critical review of online consumer behavior: Empirical research. Journal of electronic commerce in organizations, 3(4), p.1.
.In this report we came to know that majority of people are finding online product and service quality is better than traditional shoppers. Another important factor that came into notice that people are finding the price of goods and services better than shop prices. . Apart from these factors, the researchers have noticed some other newly emerged factors such as reviews and opinion sharing on e-commerce sites for product and services, delivery convenience, confidence of buying items etc. found to be concerning. 
8.    Richa, D., 2012. Impact of demographic factors of consumers on online shopping behaviour: A study of consumers in India. International Journal of Engineering and Management Sciences, 3(1), pp.43-52.
Her research work was done on demographic parameters where she found that female population are buying more in online platform than male. She identified that reason may be impulsive behaviour of female. It is also due to the fact that working women, believe in status quo and imitate others. She mentioned that online shopping is not much influenced by marital status, income and age characteristics.  
9.    Forsythe, S., Liu, C., Shannon, D. and Gardner, L.C., 2006. Development of a scale to measure the perceived benefits and risks of online shopping. Journal of interactive marketing, 20(2), pp.55-75.
In this report, benefits are basically categorised into 4 categories such as shopping convenience, product selection, ease of shopping or comfort and enjoyment. In his finding, he came to know that privacy at home, availability of all items, don’t have to wait for serving, no hassle, new experience of buying and excitement of receiving in package form (like a gift) are the perceived benefits of people.
10.    Bora, M., 2018. Issue: Doing Business in India Doing Business in India.
The report stated that Amazon looks for 7-10 years business in every country without profit motive. This is the reason they are able to keep price lower than local market. Secondly, they brought the concept of COD (cash on delivery) as it understood the fear of using online payment by Indian. It also offered local producers products and services as many Indian are still preferring those products. 

 


 Research Design 

 


Research Design and Justification 
This is a descriptive research method. The reason behind selection of this method is that we are here measuring the behavioural aspect towards online purchasing of Indian customer. Here we are applying survey technique through questionnaire where we asked few objective and subjective questions to people to answer it. 
Source of data 
In this research study both primary and secondary data collection method is considered. Here in this case-
Primary data- Primary data is collected through questionnaire responses obtained by the researchers from the said respondents taken under study. The study is conducted over 500 respondents from the entire population of India on simple random sampling basis. It is reliable because any biasness from researcher’s part is excluded in the sampling technique where each people from the population has equal opportunity to be selected as sample. 
Secondary data- To obtain background idea and concept development over the research topic under study, we have taken book, journal articles, research papers and period journals etc. under secondary source of data collection. All the collected sources are verified by the respective authorities and also available in google scholar platform for verification.    

 


Conceptualization and Measurement   

 


The research study is basically a qualitative research methodology. In this research we are actually looking at the behavioural aspects of Indian customers with respect to online shopping. Thus, there is no experimental or problem solving technique is needed which comes under the quantitative analysis part. There is no use of CV, DV or IV for arriving at the conclusion for the study. 
Since it is a qualitative analysis, we have gone through primary and secondary research questions which helped in constructing the questionnaire for the primary analysis and also helped in finding appropriate secondary data for study. 
Research Questions-Primary question- What is the motivation behind online shopping behaviour of Indian consumer?

 


Secondary questions- 

 


1.    How consumer behaves in case of traditional shopping and e-shopping?
2.    What are the strengths and weaknesses with e-shopping that can be addressed?
3.    What are the future prospects of online shopping in India?  
Data collection method
The reason behind selection of Survey Questionnaire technique is to get the ground level data or we say it as the primary data from the actual population who will come under the study. As the study aims at understanding consumer behaviour, thus there can’t be better method than taking opinion and responses about their buying behaviour towards traditional and online shopping. The questionnaire consisted of both subjective and objective questions respectively thus we can draw better conclusions can be drawn. 

 


Data Analysis 

 


Data analysis is an important part of research study that leads us to find the answers of the research questions we addressed. In this case, the qualitative data analysis is done through simple statistical analysis using percentage basis based on the number of responses for the objective questions.
For ex- In the questionnaire, it was asked about the purchasing items that respondents buy from online. The data analysis conducted firstly by collecting the entire sample responses. Next, each response are studied and per option how many responses came were recorded. Finally, we calculated the total number of responses per option which put in form of percentage as total responses obtained. 
In case of subjective questions, at first the entire responses were taken into consideration. Then, researcher and its team noted down each responses and clubbed similar responses into one head. Finally after evaluation of all responses, the clubbed responses were presented in report along with the unique responses obtained. 
Was it rigorous analysis?
 Certainly, it is not much rigorous in nature. The objective questions in the questionnaire were straight forward which can be easily evaluated using simple calculator and spreadsheet. It is rigorous partly because of the subjective questions under study. As the sample population was large and responses were many, detail analysis of all responses given couldn’t be placed in data analysis part thus by using intellectual of researcher and considering the time frame and resources of the researcher, clubbing of similar looking responses were done. This was conducted with usage of common wording and similar meaning to club the responses under one head.

 

 
 Ethical Issues 

 


For the purpose of this study, we had to take certain ethical aspects that were needed for successful completion of report. These are given below-
 Risk of harm- No physical harm, psychological discomfort, social disadvantage, financial risk and intruder’s action has been noticed.
Inform consent- All efforts have taken to make the interviews and respondents to understand the purpose and aim of study and its usefulness.
Confidentiality- All responses were kept in a secured place. The survey answers were collected and put in a secured cloud network with password security. These responses available for future study only on special request. Names of persons and their given data or responses are placed in this report only after permission. 
Decisiveness- All care has been taken to ensure that the respondents and interviewer are responding free of mind and without any pressure. The responses were collected at their convenience.
Right to withdraw- All respondents were given freedom to take their participation out from the research process if they feel it not relevant for the. Thank fully, all participated till the end of research.

 


 Research Limitations 

 


1.    The study has limitations of its scope as consumer behaviour study is done for Indian consumer only which doesn’t represent overall consumer behaviour aspects. The behavioural aspects vary with population characteristics. 
2.    The study is done for Amazon Inc. specific on its Indian consumer study. This approach may differ for other companies. 
3.    Only age and gender are taken as primary population characteristics while other factors are kept constant. [Kumar, R.,et.al2017]
4.    The subjective responses are summarized and put into analysis as per judgement of researcher which may vary with actual responses of each. 
5.    Due to shortage of time and resources, the sample population selected and analysed may not represent the entire consumers in India. 
                         

 

 Research Timeframe and Budget 

  
Activity
From-To (2018)
Cost in $USD
Problem Identification and preliminary investigation
January-10-21 
$100
Discussion with management
January- 24 to February- 2
$80
Set up for research study
February-5 to 15
$70
Literature review and secondary data collection study 
February- 20- March-11
$300
Survey
March 14- March 24
$250
Primary data collection and study
March 25- April- 2
$100
Report writing
April-3- 6
$36
Final draft review
April 7-9
$20
Report presentation
April 10
$100
Total project cost
 
$1056 (Approx.)
 
             

 References 

 


1.    Sinha, P.K. and Banerjee, A., 2004. Store choice behaviour in an evolving market. International Journal of Retail & Distribution Management, 32(10), pp.482-494.
2.    Holzwarth, M., Janiszewski, C. and Neumann, M.M., 2006. The influence of avatars on online consumer shopping behavior. Journal of marketing, 70(4), pp.19-36.
3.    Gehrt, K.C., Rajan, M.N., Shainesh, G., Czerwinski, D. and O'Brien, M., 2012. Emergence of online shopping in India: shopping orientation segments. International Journal of Retail & Distribution Management, 40(10), pp.742-758.
4.    Goldsmith, R. and Reinecke Flynn, L., 1992. Identifying innovators in consumer product markets. European Journal of Marketing, 26(12), pp.42-55.

 

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