Description of observation process:
The goal was to understand the dominating type of customers, who are shopping at Walmart Supercenter. The time was taken due to the assumption of the most saturated customer flow on a weekday. In order to observe the subjects in their natural environment the observer was taking a neutral position in approximately 4-8 yards away. The observer was also making an impression of a regular shopper, which allowed deflecting the suspicious behavior. The notes were taken with the help of the cell phone. None of the observed subjects noticed that he was being watched.
A White man, approximately of his late 30s, was standing in a home electronics section. Due to the noticed ring, he was considered to be married. He was wearing a dark pair of classic jeans, dark red T-shirt and a dark-green baggy jacket; a man had grey sneakers on his feet. His cart contained two umbrellas, several pillows, kitchen mixer, some frozen fast-food groceries, a bag of potatoes, some bread, stakes, several items of (as assumed) sport sweat pants, few regular T-shirts of different color, 4 one-gallon bottles of water, and a pack of Vitamin Water. While being observed in electronics section, the customer was talking over the phone describing the bed lamp he was holding to someone. It was a regular type lamp of a pale white color with a white hat on top. After receiving an approval, he put the lamp in his cart and moved to another section.
A White overweight woman of early 50s by estimation was wearing a checkered red shirt and dark jeans knees length. On her feet she had brown boots. She was standing at the Vision center, right next to the window, talking with a consultant. Her cart had the following items: 2 packs of Oreo cookies, a big purple bag of cat food, several random cat toys, three gallons bottle of milk, one pack of bread toasts, sausages, 2 big bottles of Tide laundry liquid, a bulk pack of Breyers ice cream, several colored towels, an angel garden statue, party cups, pack of Coca-Cola and a pack of Dr pepper cans, neck massager, a bottle of shampoo. In her conversation with a Pharmacy cashier she was asking about the delivery date of the glasses she ordered earlier.
A White woman of late 20s was found in a home section. The woman was wearing a Nike hoody and sweats pants. She had bright blue sneakers on her feet. Her cart had a black and blue children safety seat, a big pack of Huggies dippers, 2 gallons of milk, chicken nuggets, big pack of kitchen towels, 3 packs of wet wipes, baby bottles, several educational toys for kids under 4 years old, drawing markers, several items of kids’ cloth, green bathrobe, shower curtains, 4 packs of macaroni cheese, big pack of M&Ms and several Twix bites packs, a set of kitchen containers. The customer did not pay much attention to the children’s food she was picking from, either because of the personal indifference to the product differences, either she knew what specifically she was looking for. Most of the time she was looking at her phone, so she was slowly moving between the product shelves. At some point she war picking her head up in order to check on the section directions.
A Hispanic middle 30s man was observed in the electronics section. He was wearing a white T-shirt with a cotton black jacket and wide blue jeans with black sneakers on his feet. He also had a dark blue cap on his head. His cart was packed with mostly electronic devices and contained other random units: Sonny sound system, portable DVD player, microwave, car kit for cell phone, cell phone chargers, car wash liquid, toilet paper, brown rug, decorative plasma lamp, and numerous pairs of socks. Before placing the item into the chart the customer took time to go through the characteristics, at some point he was holding two products in his hands simultaneously. He took advices from present assistant, before making his choice.
The store was mostly filled with female customers. The majority of the shoppers was White and was estimated to be from 30 to 50 years old. The facility was considered to be slightly crowded. The customers tended to be irritated due to the lack of assistance from the store’s representatives. Due to the completed observations it was assumed that the shoppers were initially entering Walmart with a necessity to purchase specific items (need buyers), however, the content of their charts expressed the tendency for impulse purchases. In their mass visitors were considered as loyal, due to the observed location orientation, however, there were several representatives of random or unintended customers, who had stopped by the store to quickly grab the necessary products. Those customers who were purchasing a longer life cycle products of high price like electronics or house commodities, were trying to collect more information about the product before making their final decision.
The completed observation gave a perception that Walmart’s average customer representative falls within the following description: White working female who is married and have kids, aged between 30 and 50 years old, who obtains up to $50 000 annual income, visits the store for specific items, however can be easily seduced for unplanned purchases.