In this assignment, I will be explaining the limitations of marketing research used to contribute to the development of Waitrose´s marketing plans.

Sampling is the statistical method of obtaining representative data or observations from a group of people that is assumed will match the total populations by organizations. The total population is necessarily everyone in the country, but rather anyone who might be interested in buying the product.

There are some types of sampling and they are

Random

Quota

Stratified

Systematic

Cluster

Convenience

Random sampling is the basic sampling technique where an organization selects a sample for study from a larger group (a population). Everyone is chosen entirely by chance and each member of the population has an equal chance of being included in the sample. Some limitations Waitrose will face with this type of sampling will be that this type of sampling has lots of errors as compared to other sampling methods with the same sample size as Stratified sampling. The selection is almost impossible if the units are widely dispersed. One other disadvantage of random sampling is that it cannot be employed if the units of the population are diverse in nature. This method lacks the use of available knowledge concerning the population. Sometimes, it is difficult to have a completely cataloged universe.

Quota sampling is the sampling method of gathering representative data from a group. This sampling requires that representative individuals are chosen out of a specific subgroup. Waitrose can be limited by this sampling method because since it is a non-random sampling method it is impossible to find the sampling error. There will be a chance of sampling bias since there will be a chance of the surveyor ignoring some important characteristics for ease of access.

Stratified sampling is a type of sampling method in which the total population is divided into smaller groups or strata to complete the sampling process. Stratified sampling will need more administrative works as compared to other sampling methods e.g. simple sampling. It can sometimes be difficult to classify each type of population into clear and distinguished groups. Stratified sampling can be time consuming especially for those who would not interested in handling this type of data. This method can be expensive, and it also suffers from the difficulty of weighting, stratification and overlapping of strata.

Systematic sampling is the method of choosing a random sample from among a larger population. The process of systematic sampling typically involves first selecting a fixed starting point in the larger population and then obtaining subsequent observations by using a constant interval between samples taken. Some limitations of systematic sampling will be that it works well only if there is a random population, if there is a hidden trait in the population the data gathered will be compromised. This type of sampling does not provide 100% accurate information on the condition of the batch. Systematic sampling also limits the number of participants that can participate because it will not be suitable for large population. Another way Systematic sampling can limit the research of Waitrose will be that some of the populations will be expensive and time consuming even if there is a ready list since there will be different ways in which they can be found, and they will be challenging, and the samples can also be geographically scattered.

Convenience sampling is a non-probability sampling technique where subjects are selected because of their convenient accessibility and proximity to the researcher. This type of sampling can limit Waitrose because it could lead to a possible bias in the gathering of data. This is because it will get the views of a group of people and not the whole population and so the quality of the data collected can be affected if there is an over or under representation of a group of people. Waitrose´s will also experience sampling errors. This is because since the results are already biased, there will be some inaccuracies in the data collected. Another way convenience sampling can limit Waitrose in their data collection is that there will be no generalized results. This is because they will not be able to conclude with their data research since it is biased, and it will not be possible to formulate rules for this type of research.

Cluster sampling is the sampling method is used in statistics when natural groups are present in a population. The whole population is subdivided into clusters, or groups, and random samples are then collected from each group. The limitations of cluster sampling are very similar to convenience sampling. This is because the individuals in the clusters will have different characteristics and the researcher might have over or under represented clusters which will give a biased result on the data. There will also be the problem of high sampling errors. This is because there will be limited clusters and biased data in the research.

Apart from these sampling methods which can sometimes limit Waitrose’ marketing research there are other limitations to marketing research Waitrose will have to consider and some of them are as follows.

Validity; there will have to be valid information which will show its relevance and appropriateness to Waitrose’s research question and the directness and strength of its association with the concepts under scrutiny. Often, they will have to use best available information whose validity may be weak.

Reliability: The value of any research findings will depend mainly on the accuracy of the data collected. Data quality can be compromised through several potential routes, e.g., leading questions, biased interviewers etc. Efforts to ensure that data is accurate, samples are representative, and interviewers are objective will all add to the costs of the research, but such costs are necessary if poor decisions and expensive mistakes are to be avoided.

Timing; Waitrose will sometimes be forced to balance the need to make decisions as soon as possible, maintain their position in the market as against building a detailed picture in relation to their customer’s needs.

Costs. Gathering and processing data can be very costly for businesses including Waitrose. Most organizations may lack the experience to conduct surveys, gather primary data, what the potential benefits may be, and lack the funds to pay specialist market research agencies to gather such data for them. In these cases, Waitrose may be forced to rely on data that is less than ‘perfect’ but that can be accessed more cheaply, e.g., from secondary sources