OBSERVATIONS: Parents and Children Shopping Together: A New Approach to the Qualitative Analysis of Observational Data

Langbourne Rust,
Langbourne Rust Research

Field observations of parents and children shopping together were analyzed to find out how their in-store behavior varied with the age of the child. The objective was to conceptualize the factors that influence in-store decisions, with an eye toward developing new marketing strategies which would target families with children of specific ages.

This was a qualitative research project, insofar as it set out to generate new concepts, not to test a priori ones. But it differed from traditional qualitative research in using observational data rather than in-depth conversations with consumers and in taking a rigorous approach to generating, refining, and testing the newly emerging theory.

A QUALITATIVE STUDY BASED ON OBSERVATIONAL DATA