The process of data collection involves the development of an instrument, testing the relevance of the research instrument and identifying the method to be used for accessing the required data. These components have been discussed in the following section.

Survey Design

in this example researcher has opted to use survey design for the present study. Survey approach is marked by efficiency and accuracy of data collection process, while scholars have also supported the use of survey for collecting data in the retail sector making it a suitable approach for the present study. The survey design would enable the researcher to gather information from the customers are M&S with relative ease and efficiency. The researcher contacted the management at M&S seeking permission to carry out the study, and initiated the process of data collection once permission was granted.

Research Instrument

It is assume that questionnaire which is used in the example research includes close ended questions about the experience of customers while shopping at M&S. The questions also included information about the taste and preference of the customers visiting M&S stores and the key components that they consider while making a selection of a retail organization. For instance, quality and range of products, convenience and presence of in store bakery section were some of the factors included to identify the preferences of the customers and the importance associated with each of these factors. The research instrument comprised 20 items, out of which 3 questions were about the demographic information (gender, age and marital status) of the respondents and 17 questions aimed at gaining insight into the customer perception and opinion about M&S. Since the questions were close ended in nature, Likert scale has been used to measure the responses.

Pilot Study

In this example researcher has conducted a pilot study on a sample of 5 individuals to test the validity and reliability of the questionnaire. The results of the pilot study helped in eliminating or modifying the questions that were not able to measure the construct of the study. The questionnaire developed for the present study has been tested in terms of its level of reliability by using Cronbach’s alpha. The Cronbach’s alpha value of 0.6 or more indicates that the items included in a questionnaire are accurately measuring the constructs it was intended to measure

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