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After doing the secondary research, researcher find out about the research gaps and need to explore it further about the proposed research problem. In this stage, researcher uses the Primary data collection methods for collecting the research data by using different methods such as Questionnaires, Observation, interviews, surveys and focus group etc. it is very important that data collected through primary data collection method should not be used by third parties and to reveal to anyone unless they have rights and permission from the authorities. As I mentioned in my previous section that the researcher uses different methods such as Questionnaires, Interviews and Observation to collect the necessary primary data. The researcher uses questionnaires to collect information from the customers about their feedback of the self service checkout system.
The qualitative data is utilized to get facts and figures about the customer's feedback and quality of the system. Thorough this type of data collection, researcher search and collect the customers reaction to the respective product or services. E.g. do they like to use the self service checkout system? Do they like this new innovative product? What is their satisfaction level according to our 5 level reaction grid? In this dissertation, researcher has used data being collected from the supermarket customer's feedback such as ASDA, Selborne Walk shopping centre and ASDA Supermarket, Bakers arms, London. In these supermarkets, researcher has conducted his research using different interviews techniques, Questionnaires and self observation etc.
Numerical or quantitative data collection method is utilized to gauge and compute the scale of needed information. Quantitative data collection is very important step in any research work as researcher needs to find out about the average number of customers and their sampling method. This is the extremely important tool for collecting the required data in numerical form for the research work. This sort of data collection method has also been used to analyze the result and for data presentation.
(Saunders et al, 2009)
Customer survey and self service checkout system initiation
In the supermarket environment, competitors are always looking for different ways of retaining the existing customers and attracting the rival supermarket customers by offering incentives and offers to lure them to their business. Different customers have different behavior and attitude towards product or services in the supermarket. Time has gone when customer can be satisfied and retained by offering cheap products or services, instead, now, they look for more in the terms of excellent customer services and good value for their money. Supermarket or retail is in boom period, and, it is very fast moving business. Customers like to have more value and better service for the money. Retailer after doing lots of research and analysis of the customer's expectation and wants, they decided to use new innovative self service checkout system for faster, flexible, reliability, efficiency, privacy and improved checkout system for the ever changing customer's requirements.
Self service checkout system is a good technology for using the fast paced retail business to consumer (B2C) environment and it already has gained acceptance for the majority of the customers from around the world supermarket and especially, in the United Kingdom. As I find out about the possible future planning of ASDA supermarket in London, they intend to increase more self service checkout system than assisted checkout system in this year 2010.
ASDA has already done the Survey form the customers about the possible expansion of self service checkout system in future. As I find out from the self service checkout supervisor about this possible future expansion. He has helped me observed the customers and asked questions to the customers about the liking of the self service checkout system.
The survey I conducted among 10 customers at ASDA Supermarket and it was very obvious that they come to the big supermarket for the sack of getting good services as well as good price. The chart below shows how many percentage of the customer in the retail industry like Self Service Checkouts.
In the chart different colors shows different opinions of the customers e.g. brown color represents strongly agreed, sky blue color represent agree, yellow color represents somewhat agree, red color represents disagree and light green color represents neutral. All the bars in the chart show the level in percentage.
Q1: Do you prefer to use self service checkouts instead of Cashier?
In this chart, the bars shows the participation of the customers e.g. in question 1, 25% customers were strongly agreed, 42% customers were agreed, 10% customers were somewhat agreed, 8% customers were disagreed and 15% customers were neutral. According the above we get conclusion that despite it is new system most people use self service check out as the manager at ASDA Supermarket pointed out that it will grow 10% every year in the next 20 year and we will change all our cashier in future.
Q2: Self service check out reduces waiting time to checkouts?
In this chart the bars shows the participation of the customers. 30% customers were strongly agreed, 45% customers were agreed, 8% customers were somewhat agreed, 5% customers were disagreed and 12% customers were neutral.
The graph shows that most customers love to use the service, the first of all that is a new technology and it is natural that every ones wants to try the new technology such as if we look at computer usage. People love to use computer because user friendliness of the system. At the end, we get result that self service check system is really helpful to reduce the waiting time at self service checkout system.
Q3: Self service checkout creates a sense of privacy and anonymity?
In this chart the bars shows the participation of the customers e.g. in question 3, 34% customers were strongly agreed, 41% customers were agreed, 12% customers were somewhat agreed, 5% customers were disagreed and 8% customers were neutral. The chart shows customer use it is more secure and keep their privacy intact.
Q4: I appreciate the ability not to have to deal with anyone?
In this chart the bars shows the participation of the customers e.g. in question 4, 51% customers were strongly agreed, 39% customers were agreed, 5% customers were somewhat agreed, 3% customers were disagreed and 2% customers were neutral.
Q5: self service checkouts (SSC) are easy to use?
In this chart the bars shows the participation of the customers as;
66% customers were strongly agreed
27% customers were agreed,
3% customers were somewhat agreed,
2% customers were disagreed and
2% customers were neutral
Majority of the customer at ASDA Supermarket are said it is easy to use but According to the manager of ASDA Supermarket, it depends on the customer education that we don't have any problem with that customer who are familiar with self service checkout system. It is hard for those who never use this type of service, sometimes, they find difficult to use this system on their own without any assistance by the staff members.
Q6: Please rate your impression of what according to the following scale?
Do you find our SSC system easy to use?
Do you like to pay for shopping bags at SSC System?
Do you find our staff at SSC System helpful?
Our premises are clean and well lightened
Products and food are well arranged in the supermarket
Supermarket offers excellent value of money
Our working hours are convenient for you
Our staff are courteous and helpful to you while you are shopping with us
This survey aim is to find out how the self service check out can increase efficiency, effectiveness in the retail industry beside that the industries putting their effort to satisfy their customers in different ways by implementing some strategy that could be useful to the companies as global competition is rising between industries customer satisfaction comes hot topic .self services check out has implemented in retail industry to reduce the time of the customers the survey I conducted from the manager in ASDA Supermarket that he pointed out the good thing is this service is very quick it does the transaction very fast that is a positive point to the ASDA Supermarket it reduces the customer complaint now days most customers are complaining the time that spend in the shopping in ASDA Supermarket for instance if a customer buy one item . they have to wait maximum 15 to 20 minutes in the queue it is a big challenge in our operational level how to decrease it we are trying to expand the new service in all our store . it gives two positive impact to the company the first point it satisfies the customers the second point it saves the cost The new service is lost longer more efficiency that it helps too much in operational level it grows 10% every year like I could say 75% are satisfy like minority of the customers say it is not easy to use it is complicated even some of them don't trust on self service check the new service might do wrong transaction it might scan the items two times and he pointed out some inexperienced customer cause some delays they face for some problem how to do transaction but most educated people love to use the new service it gives empowerment to the customer .
By long standing in queue every day as it happens in Tesco Supermarket. it is clear to understand that the new service could increase the customer satisfaction as well as it can save a lot of cost and reduce waiting time.
My research is on the self service checkout system would involve doing some research work in the supermarket. I would like to use supermarket like as ASDA and TESCO that are very near to my residential area Walthamstow, London. Firstly, I decided to use the supermarket Morrison at Wood green, London, but, I did not get permission from management to conduct my research work by using my questionnaires to the customers and doing self observation at self service checkout system in the Morrison supermarket. I decided to go to my nearer supermarket "ASDA" to ask the manager to conduct my research work at the ASDA supermarket. Their accepted my proposal for academic research surprisingly. I convinced them that this information and data will be confidential and I will not disclose any information to anyone without their prior permission to do so. I observed customers at the ASDA supermarket by using the self service checkout system that how easy they can use the system without facing any problem and difficulty. In conclusion, I can say that older people were among the least that were reluctant to use the new self service checkout system. System performance was not as friendly as I anticipated because there were some technical loop holes in the system as customer scan the item and place into bagging area but instead of moving to next item scanning, system was asking the customer to place the item into bagging area. There was an Identification issue when customer wants to buy the Alcoholic drinks and other replacement of damaged items when there was a long queue of customer at the back of that serving customer. I observed the whole shopping time duration that vary in different mode of payment has been used.
One item shopping time duration was approximately 45 seconds per minute and it vary as number of items in the shopping basket increases. Staff at the supermarket was not very friendly by the start of my research work as they were thinking me as a management man observing their working performance and pattern, but, Luckily, I did able to convince them as I am only doing this research work for the academic purposes and not for any other use.
I enjoyed this research work as it gave me the insight of analysing and observing the customer behaviour and customer satisfaction shopping experience as stated by Prof. Phillip Kottler,
"Customer satisfaction can lead to customer retention"