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To know the scientific processes of business research

  • To understand how to define research problem clearly and precisely, and to know the ethical issues ofinvestigation
  • To know the different kinds of research design

The business research process involves a series of steps that systematically investigate a problem or an opportunity facing the organization (Sreejest et al., 2014)

  • Research process helps develop and answer research question(s) in a logical and systematic manner.
  • Research process also helps system thinking andcompositional approaches for research design

Issues in research process

  • The Favored-Technique Syndrome
  • Company Motivated Research
  • Un-researchable Questions
  • Ill-Defined Management Problems
  • Politically Motivated Research

Checklist for dealing with ethical considerations

  • Why is this research project worth doing?
  • How does the organization benefit from this project?
  • What impact, if any, does your research have on the organization?
  • Do you have the skills and resources to carry out this research project?
  • Have you informed all the employees of the research project? Why not?
  • Do you explain the purpose of your research to the participants? Why not?
  • Are participants given the opportunity to decline participation?
  • Are participants able to withdraw their consent at any point? How?
  • Does the research cause you to have access to sensitive information? How will you ensure the confidentiality of this information?
  • How will you ensure individual respondents cannot be identified from any research reports or papers that are produced?
  • Are there any possible negative effects (long or short term) on your participants (including any physical or psychological harm)?
  • How will you report back from the research to your participants?

Problem Statement

The research proposal shall assess the reasons behind the decadence of retail market in the era of online shopping. At the same time, it shall outline certain measures that lead to the resurgence of retail shopping in Australia. Online shopping has occupied a colossus space that supersedes the retail shopping.  It is indispensable for the retail outlet owners to understand the changing dynamics of the consumer market. They should acquire a cognizance of the market flexibility and evaluate the reasons that lead to the steady migration of the consumers.

 The retailers should comprehend the target market, the nature and necessities of the consumers. At the same time, they have to compose favorable market strategies that will surely augment the rate of customers. The retailers should shun the traditional approach of email marketing that fails to meet the spiraling interests of the customers. The promotional mailers and campaigning are a figment of the past. The retailers should outline new methodologies that are apposite for the consumer market. It is significant for the retailers to concoct ‘out-of-the-box' strategies that help to leverage their key resources (Ewing, 2014).

The research shall explore the themes and measures used by the local shops for surviving the online race. Due to online shopping, the retail network relegates to the background. The research shall bring a new angle to the subject and replenish the dearth in the literature. Based on the empirical studies, the research shall address a new methodology in the segment. It shall highlight the losses that the local shops have countenanced.  At the same time, it shall advance effective strategies that will help them survive the deteriorating sales volume.  

The retail owners should adumbrate policies that are appropriately styled for the consumer market (Mosteller et al., 2014). The local shops should carve out a unique shopping experience for the consumers by incorporating customized digital wallet. The local shops should have many things that enthral the customers. If the millennial should derive an impetus to buy from local shops, which will make them satisfied (Jones & Livingstone, 2015).

The personalized tools like iBeacon and loyalty apps, the renowned retailers (Marks & Spencer, Pantaloons, Shopper’s Stop and Spencer’s Gourmet shop) can experiment with various aspects of the shopping experience of the customers. The retailers can introduce customized in-store application that revolutionizes the retail shopping. These applications can give customized rewards to the customers worldwide. The tech forum develops a close nexus between the retailers and logistic supply services like DHL and Australia Post (Panagiotelis et al., 2014). Due to this, the customers have viewed a revolution in the domain of packaging and supply. The Australian economic experts claim that the ‘delivery process' will be a real coupon of Amazon. This will help Amazon jump on the bandwagon of success in Australia. The power of Amazon emanates from holistic customer experience and the occupation of the logistic space (Panagiotelis et al., 2014). As a matter of fact, the retailers should have the cognizance of the entire marketing process.

Research Objectives/Questions

The big Aussie retailers like Woolworths, Coles Supermarket, and Caltex know the process of deriving data and develop marketing strategies (Newman, 2014). The Aussie retailers are successfully implementing Apple technology that restructures the retail experience across the country. The global giant, Apple aims to integrate iBeacon into the retail shops. With the help of this new technology, businesses and retailers can gain a direct access to the big data analytics. They can understand the needs of their target audience and gain knowledge of resource allocation strategies (Newman, 2014). With the help of the innovative technology, the retailers can capture the nucleus of the consumer market. The online shopping is a common fad among the global consumers. However, the new Apple technology and customized digital applications can attract customers galore for everything.

   The aims of the research are as follows:

  • To delve into the study of the decadence of the local shop
  • To understand the declining trajectory of retail market and the changing situation of consumer domain
  • To comprehend and analyse the negative impact of the emerging online shopping forum on retail presence
  • To identify effective solutions for reviving the retail network
  • What are negative effects of the emerging online shopping on retail market?
  • What are the effective solutions for revitalizing the local shopping?

The retail market presence is attuned by the online shopping. This ‘transformative behaviour’ is very much visible in these days. This has affected the power-structure and the sway of retail stores across the globe.  The proposal will be conducted with the help of extensive literature review and feedback from the retail store and malls managers (through surveys and questionnaires). Their feedback and opinions will provide an impetus to the project and help to develop strategies for the accomplishment of the project. The benefits of conducting the research proposal are enumerated as follows:

  • It will assist those who wish to comprehend the declining trajectory of the retail shopping as compared to the online presence
  • The research proposal aims to expand the knowledge base of the ‘transformative consumer behaviour’ in this domain
  • The retail store managers can surely be benefitted from the strategies used in this research to battle against their deterioration in the capital market. However, there is no surety of a singular ‘superlative method’ that can maintain the survival of the retail store managers and owners.  
  • The cumulative results derived from this research proposal can be used by the business owners, retail merchants and policy makers. The proposal will be helpful for those who want to mitigate the declining trend of retail stores. This will definitely propel them into action.

The result of the study will represent an analytical mould for surveying the factors culminating in the declining trajectory of the retail ventures. This will develop and analyse the strategies deployed by them for maximizing the profit. As far as the research is concerned, extraneous and intramural factors will be considered. These factors have influenced the thrust of the research. The factors like cost-valuation, capital market situation and innovative technologies influence the retail experts. These factors will profoundly influence the final result of the project. The research outputs will be seen as academic expert work for the entire case. It has identified the research problem and the proposal will provide comprehensive solutions to the problem. The selected research objectives will be evaluated based on the data analysis, findings and other reviews. At the other end of the spectrum, the proposal will be a convenient one for the future retail owners and other off-line shopping ventures.

In the segment, I shall present the conceptual framework for the research proposal. In the recent time, online shopping has occupied the space and the trend of the retail market is deteriorating at a rapid pace. According to Statistics, the first segment of 2015 shows that there were a net loss of 250 retail shops relative to 300 relative shops in 2015. This occurred because of an accelerating online shopping in 2015. The data is revealed by the Local Data Company and British Independent Retailer Association.  The Wales witnessed the largest mishap due to the expected closure of the retail stores in England. The Statistics claim that 25% of posh market ventures are inevitably at stake, which is followed by shops in northwest and 27% of shops are bound to close (Jensen, Orquin & Bech-Larsen, 2014).  In order to ameliorate the situation, one has to follow the conceptual framework produced in the space.

Justification of the Research 

 Source: Internet

On the basis of the problem statement of the research objectives, the research hypothesis will be outlined in this particular study:

Ø H (1): Null Hypothesis: Online shopping does not lead to deteriorating sales pattern of retail ventures

Ø H (2): Alternate Hypothesis: Online shopping leads to declining sales trend of retail stores

The development of cell phones and more prominent downloading rates and transmission capacity has prompted a multiplication of top-level retailing applications. Therefore, clients are announcing more positive portable web based shopping encounters. UPS found that 73% of respondents report general fulfillment with portable web based shopping in 2016 contrasted with 65% in 2015. An unfaltering 56% of respondents utilize their cell phone to research buys, and the number finishing their buys online rose from 30% in 2015 to 44% in 2016 (Akhter, 2015).

Successful retailers comprehend the estimation of in-store signals and informing that can bring buyers' dearest telephones into the in-store shopping knowledge. As per the review, just 28% of customers are not open to versatile informing in-store; 26% were responsive while 46% stay impartial (Kimpel & Friedrich, 2015).

Numerous retailers are currently offering free delivering for in-store pickup as an option. Customers' acknowledgment of interchange conveyance areas has been expanding every year (29% in 2016), to a limited extent as a result of the likelihood of broadened hours — for instance, one can swing by the store to get your bundle after work if the store is strategically placed. Retailers may need to consider the accommodation figure alongside store deals numbers when choosing which offices to close or where new ones ought to be constructed (Kimpel & Friedrich, 2015).

With considerably later weight on immaculate play dot.com retailers, an incorporated retail methodology is by all accounts in mode. Regardless of whether you receive the innovative mark, or essentially regard the Internet as a channel augmentation of the physical store, the virtual world has much to offer the disconnected shopping background and the other way around. Conventional retailers can take their image to the web and increase momentary acknowledgment and trust (Mani et al., 2015).  This esteem is valid for existing purchasers and buyers who look for the advantages of the close, customized understanding and the more enlightening purchase.

A physical store in geographic nearness to the customer can position physical retailers for a more sped up merchandise exchange and a lower chance buy by means of the web (McGreal & Kupke, 2014). The capacity to visit a physical store that acknowledges comes back from online buys improves the trust figure. Retailers ought to be mindful, in any case, about striking proclamations on merchandise exchanges (Mani et al., 2015).  Contingent upon the relationship of online combination to the disconnected collection and the geographic appropriation of like buyers, stores with focused arrangements may not proficiently have the capacity to deal with returns. Valuing this money related picture requires an incorporated promoting and store network strategy. Some innovative producers use the Internet to examine new presentations before they manufacture the items through the hassle-free network (Moody, 2015).  This method gives a plenty of information to the testers and the consumer markets. All the information can be used by the retail owners to improve the retail space and the local shop experience. Numerous activities have propelled the suggestion of assembling assuming greater liability of products offering through to the shopper. It is doubtless, the exceptional procedures, for example, Scan-Based Trading, Forecasting and Replenishment, Cooperative Planning and Direct Store Delivery will surely accomplish the objective with success (Ong & Chan, 2014).

Expected Research Output/Outcome

The research methodology signifies the types of research methods adopted by the researchers. The research methodology operates at the intersection of theory and practical experimentation. These two premises determine the research trajectory (Mackey and Grass 2016).

There are three types of investigation:

  • Descriptive
  • Theorem testing
  • Investigative

The Investigative research study explains that the researcher faces clear overview of the research topic. The researcher has to complete the research with the assistance of the scientific method.

The descriptive research develops at the close nexus between theories and concepts. The researchers adumbrate and elucidate the research with the help of appropriate theories and models.

In the theorem testing research, the scientist establishes a theorem.  According to the result of the theorem, the researchers deliberate on the study that proves the theorem.

The researcher uses descriptive research study for conducting the research.  On the basis of substantial theories, the researcher addresses the questions and thrust of the study. With the help of the research outline, the researcher accomplishes the research objectives.  

Data is an intrinsic part of the research. The researcher frames the research by welding secondary and primary data. Primary data signifies allocation of data from the survey interviews and questionnaire. At the other end of the spectrum, the secondary data provides an impetus to the researcher for delving into the published books and journals (Crumbley and Church, 2013)

As far as this research is concerned, the researcher derives primary data from retail owners. They are ideal for this research, as they can give substantial data relating to the decadence of the retail shopping. Based on the report of the declining retail sales index, the researcher shall adopt effective measures for curbing the problem. The researcher shall deliberate on an online review or outline a manual questionnaire for the employees of the retail manufacturing sector. In addition, the researcher shall take the assistance of secondary sources to establish and expand the views postulated by earlier researchers.

Bernard (2016) opines that there are two variants of a sampling method for completing the research process. They are as follows:

  • Probability
  • Non-Probability

The probability sampling process helps the researcher to pick a sample and receive respondents randomly. As far as the non-probability technique is concerned, the researcher should have a cognizance of the target respondents who are appropriate for the research.

For the establishment of the research, the researcher shall apply the non-probability approach. The researcher should select a cohort of employees of both the retail and online shopping sector.

As far as accessibility issues are concerned, the scholar faces issues relating to the comprehensibility and intelligibility of the relevant resources. The behavioural response derived from the interviewees is a significant part of the research.

For conducting the research, it is indispensable for the researcher to prioritize ethical premise throughout the process. According to the Data Protection Act, 1988, a researcher has to maintain the confidentiality of the unpublished work while conducting the research. The researcher should not divulge the detail of the respondents. They are under a strict compulsion to maintain the secrecy of the process. If the researcher fails to retain the privacy of the respondent, he will be held responsible for transgressing ethical boundary. Therefore, it is significant for the researcher to take consent before working on the online survey.

Section 2: Conceptual Framework and Research Hypothesis

Data Analysis plan includes two factors, namely,

  • Qualitative Data Analysis
  • Quantitative Data Analysis

As far as this research is concerned, the researcher shall apply qualitative data analysis method. The research analysis is based on the qualitative factor. Therefore, the researcher has to adopt qualitative data analysis approach. The method has no mathematical calculation. The topic like As far as this research is concerned; the researcher shall use qualitative data analysis approach. The analysis of the research topic is premised on the qualitative facet. Therefore, the researcher has to select the qualitative data analysis method. The method does not entail mathematical calculation. The topic decline sales of local shops due to online shopping necessitate qualitative data analysis method. The research juxtaposes theories and practical responses for supporting the topic.

The planned thesis shall contain five sections.

  • Chapter One will explicate the research proposal as adumbrate in the assignment
  • Chapter two will elucidate the case study of the research proposal
  • Chapter three will incorporate the detailed study of the research methodology- literature review, data analytics (data assemblage method), which observe the key findings of declining trajectory of retail stores and its statistical analysis
  • Chapter Four will establish a report of the findings and statistical analysis of the proposed research
  • Chapter Five will provide a summative view of the significant findings and elucidate the consequences of making retail stores ready to face the online challenge (mainly shedding light on principle strategies adopted by the important retail store managers for sustenance).

Section5: Time Schedule (Gant Chart)

Figure 2: Time Frame of Research

(Source: Created by the author)

The first month should be used for selecting the topic of research with the help of a few auxiliary articles and books. Amid this period, the analyst should enjoy gathering information of the theme picked. The second month might be utilized for investigating on the point legitimately. Taken after by this progression an important writing survey should be directed by the scientist. In the third month, the scientist might frame the arrangement of the examination and the way in which the exploration should be conducted. The essential information might be gathered in the fourth month. In this time, the scientist might gather the optional information and the essential information should be acquired in the progression. The exploration procedure might proceed until the fifth month. At this point, the exploration will have the capacity to make suitable finishes of the examination led. At last, in the sixth month, the specialist will draw the last fruition of the examination.

Figure 3: Milestone Deliverables

Source: (as created by the author)

The budget for the required project is around $5000 in order to accomplish the project within the stated time frame as given in the gnat chart. The budget has three-layered stratifications:

This budget has been specified for the following reasons:

  • Literature Review is to be conducted by using textbooks, website resources and journal articles. The cost will be estimated at $1000
  • Data collection method is important and it will be conducted in the form of surveys and forming questionnaires. The process entails travelling expenses, printing cost and mailing expenses. The composite expenses can be pegged at $3000

In addition, one should access maps, tables, charts and government figures for Data analysis. The estimated budget for this purpose will be $1000

References 

Akhter, S. H. (2015). Impact of Internet Usage Comfort and Internet Technical Comfort on Online Shopping and Online Banking. Journal of International Consumer Marketing, 27(3), 207-219.

Bernard, H. R., Wutich, A., & Ryan, G. W. (2016). Analyzing qualitative data: systematic approaches. SAGE Publications.

Cumbley, R. and Church, P., 2013. Is “Big Data” creepy?. Computer Law & Security Review, 29(5), pp.601-609.

Ewing, S. (2014). Online Retail in Australia 2007-2013

Jensen, B. B., Orquin, J., & Bech-Larsen, T. (2014). What distinguishes passive recipients from active decliners of sales flyers?. Journal of Retailing and Consumer Services, 21(1), 1-8.

Jones, C., & Livingstone, N. (2015). Emerging implications of online retailing for real estate: Twenty-first century clicks and bricks. Journal of Corporate Real Estate, 17(3), 226-239.

Kimpel, M., & Friedrich, C. (2015). The right pricing strategy for offline retailers when expanding into the online sales channel. Journal of Business and Retail Management Research, 9(2).

Mackey, A. and Grass, Susan. (2016). Second Language Research Methodology and design, 1(2).

Mani, V., Kesavan, S., & Swaminathan, J. M. (2015). Estimating the impact of understaffing on sales and profitability in retail stores. Production and Operations Management, 24(2), 201-218.

McAllister, M. P., Cooke, T. R., & Buckley, C. (2015). Fetishizing Flo: Constructing Retail Space and Flexible Gendered Labor in Digital-Era Insurance Advertising. Critical Studies in Media Communication, 32(5), 347-362.

McGreal, S., & Kupke, V. (2014). The Spatial Dynamic of Retail Planning and Retail Investment: Evidence from Australian Cities. Urban Policy and Research, 32(3), 253-269.

Moody, C. J. (2015). Investigating how customer insights inform strategy leading to brand differentiation in the retail sector (Doctoral dissertation, Queensland University of Technology).

Mosteller, J., Donthu, N., & Eroglu, S. (2014). The fluent online shopping experience. Journal of Business Research, 67(11), 2486-2493.

Newman, N. (2014). Apple iBeacon technology briefing. Journal of Direct, Data and Digital Marketing Practice, 15(3), 222-225.

Ong, C. E., & Chan, C. (2014, June). How complaint handling procedures influence consumer decisions to shop online?. In Proceedings of the 27th Bled Conference (pp. 21-35).

Panagiotelis, A., Smith, M. S., & Danaher, P. J. (2014). From Amazon to Apple: Modeling online retail sales, purchase incidence, and visit behavior. Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, 32(1), 14-29.

Sandulli, F. D., & López-Sánchez, J. I. (2014). Can Online Retailers Escape the Law of One Price?. In Handbook of Strategic e-Business Management (pp. 187-207). Springer Berlin Heidelberg.

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