Qualitative and quantitative research methods are the two main methods used in research studies.

Research Objectives

  • RO1: To explore, through a scale-based survey, the effect of social media content on consumer attitudes and buying habits.
  • RO2: To compare my survey findings with actual sales trends and figures, thus exploring the direct relationship between consumer and brand via social platforms.
  • RO3: To compare varying brands’ social media strategies further to highlight the influence of social media on sales.


Qualitative and quantitative research methods are the two main methods used in research studies. However, the two research methods represent two different world views. In quantitative circles, qualitative research is as lightweight since it is based on small research sample to represent a broader population.   Qualitative research is also accused of being subject to bias due to the researcher’s own experience and opinion. On the other hand, those on the qualitative research circles accuse quantitative research of oversimplifying individual experiences, overlooking the researcher’s biases and expectations.  Despite the different views held about the two research approach, each of the methods has its strengths and weaknesses.

Qualitative research uses an exploratory approach to understand underlying reasons, opinions, attitudes, views, beliefs or preferences (Hammarberg, Kirkman & De Lacey 2016). One of the advantages of qualitative research is that it provides depth and detailed analysis of the research topic. By looking into attitudes, feelings, and behaviors, the researcher can gain a deeper understanding of the issue under study (Birchall 2014). Additionally, it creates openness since it encourages respondents to expand their responses on a topic hence helping to build new topics.

Moreover, it is possible to simulate individual experiences to explain why people act in a certain way and their feelings about their actions. It is also possible to explain why a person gave a specific response. On the other hand, fewer sample size studied acts as a disadvantage due to time and budget constraint. A qualitative study is time-consuming and therefore, involving a large sample size would mean more time is needed (Roulston 2014).  It is also less comfortable to generalize the results due to small sample size. Similarly, it is hard to make systematic comparisons since responses are highly subjective. Additionally, the quality of the results is dependent on the skills of the researcher.

On the other hand, quantitative research quantifies a problem by generating numerical data or data that can be transformed into statistics (Albers 2017).  Notably, quantitative research is based on objective facts, statistics and numerical data. One of the main strengths of quantitative research is that results can be clearly shown through objective data.  It is also easier to make predictions based on quantitative data. However, one of the disadvantages of quantitative research is that quantitative data cannot be used to explain social phenomena. It can only explain why something is happening but cannot provide insights.

For this research, quantitative research will be used to identify stages where social media influence consumer decision making, buying behaviors and explain facts and reasons in a different phenomenon. The quantitative research will also explain the cause-and-effect relationship between social media information and consumers’ response. 

Description of Participants

The respondents included online consumers aged 18-55 years who have a reason for buying convenience and uses social media as a tool to affect their decision-making process during the purchases.  Both genders were considered as the research wanted to gain a full picture of the market using a research sample that represents the whole population with relevant characteristics.  The research sample will also determine how social media messages influence purchasing behaviors between males and females. 

Description of other Data Sources

Online statistics indicating that buying behaviors between females and male buyers will be used. The secondary data will help complement the primary data collected from this study.   Data from online websites from major online retailers and messages that target online buyers will be used to complement primary data.

Research Strategy

A researcher can either adopt the deductive or the inductive approach. The inductive approach involves moving from specific to general conclusions such that a researcher first makes observations about a given study then generalizes the findings based on the existing patterns from the data (Zalaghi & Khazaei 2016). In the deductive approach, the researcher focuses on generalized theories and conducts a study in a bid to test or analyze the pre-existing hypothesis (Neuman 2012). For this study, the researcher will adopt the deductive approach to generalize findings based on the existing patterns from the data.  The deductive approach is the most appropriate research for this study since it is based on a quantitative research approach.

Research Philosophy

Research philosophy depicts the perception of how an investigator should go about when collecting information on a given subject of phenomena. Interpretivism and positivism are the two research philosophies mainly used by researchers. Positivism depicts a situation where individuals tend to have a similar perspective about a given subject hence making them subjective. On the other hand, interpretivism philosophy depicts situation whereby, different individuals usually have varying opinions on a similar subject or study (Crowther & Lancaster 2012). The varying opinions could be a result of different experiences, cultural practice or educational background.

This study will adopt the Positivism philosophy to gain a subjective view of the social media stages that influence buying behaviors and decisions in customers. This philosophy will be useful for this study since it seeks to test the existing theory on the impacts of social media on the buyers’ decision making and buying behaviors.

A research strategy is an essential step in helping the researcher to determine the path that the study will adopt by influencing research techniques and tools (Crowther and Lancaster, 2012). The most common and effective research strategies experimental research studies, surveys, and case studies.

Linking Methodology to Literature

The study seeks to gain empirical statistical evidence that shows the facets of social media that influences buying decisions and behaviors. Use of the quantitative research data is appropriate for this study since it will help to gain numerical that will illustrate the impact of social media on purchase decision-making and buying behaviors.

Data Collection

The research sought to gather data on how social media stimulates a buyer to recognize the needs something before he buys it. It also sought to establish how social media advertisements trigger a buyer to purchase a product. Additionally, the study sought to establish whether the buyer always achieves a desire for something new through social media and the solutions social media provides to the buyer.

The study employed a mix of scale-based surveys and interviews. The surveys involved questionnaires with close-ended questions in the form of a 5-point Likert scale (agree, strongly agree, neutral, disagree or strongly disagree) based on the research objectives. The first section of the questionnaire captured the respondent’s general information while the second, third and fourth sections captured the research question. In-depth interviews were not conducted due to time constraints. It is only five interviews that were conducted. With the strategy of survey, it allows the collection of a large amount of data from a sizeable population in a highly economical way. It also allows the researcher to control measurement and outcome. One of the weaknesses of the survey strategy is being inflexible. It is hard to change the research questions to capture new aspects noted in the research. Validity is another challenge since the survey questions are standardized; it is difficult to ask anything else other than general questions. It is, therefore, hard to examine the study topic comprehensively.

Research Instrument

Section 1: Respondent’s Information

1. Gender of Respondents [] Male [] Female

2. AGE 18-28[] 29-39[] 40-49 [] 50-59 [] Above 60.

3. Which of the following social media sites do you mostly access (indicate more than one where applicable) Facebook ☐ Twitter ☐ YouTube ☐ WhatsApp☐ Google+ ☐ Instagram ☐ other (s)……………………………………………………

4. Time (approx.) spent per day

 0 hour 1-3 hours 4-6 hours 7-9 hours 10 hours or more

 5. Does social media trigger you to purchase a product or service?

YES [] NO [] Not Sure []

Section 2

  1. Indicate the extent to which you agree with the following regarding the social media influences during the pre-purchase stage (√) tick appropriately on a scale of 1-5. 1- Strongly Disagree, 2-Disagree, 3-Uncertain, 4-Agree, 5-Strongly Agree.
Problem StatementStrongly disagreedisagreeUncertainagreeStrongly agree
Social media is the stimulant that helps you to recognize you need something before to purchase     
Social media advertisements trigger you to buy a product     
Your desire for something new always come through social media     
Social media provides solutions on what to buy, where to buy and why to buy     
  • Kindly indicate the extent to which you agree with the following regarding the social media influences during the pre-purchase stage (√) tick appropriately on a scale of 1-5. 1- Strongly Disagree, 2-Disagree, 3-Uncertain, 4-Agree, 5-Strongly Agree
Problem StatementStrongly disagreedisagreeUncertainagreeStrongly agree
Information search is more natural in Social media     
Social media reviews influence you to buy a new product     
Social media is a useful tool for different opinions about the new and existing product     
You search for product’s information in social media before a purchasing it     
  • Kindly indicate the extent to which you agree with the following regarding the social media influences during the pre-purchase stage (√) tick appropriately on a scale of 1-5. 1- Strongly Disagree, 2-Disagree, 3-Uncertain, 4-Agree, 5-Strongly Agree
Problem StatementStrongly disagreedisagreeUncertainagreeStrongly agree
Social media credibility is higher than traditional media     
Social media is more reliable in solving  uncertainties regarding a purchase     
Social media has the power to change your initial purchase choice as it allows you access to reliable information     
Social media allows you to filter any information of a product based on chat forums     
Interactions with friends on social media assist you in evaluating a product.     

Section 3:

  1. Influence of Social Media on Purchasing decisions
Problem StatementStrongly disagreedisagreeUncertainagreeStrongly agree
Comments from social media change your attitude towards a brand/product/service     
Unpleasing Advertisements on social media make you have a bad attitude towards a product/brand/service     
Ratings by friends of a product contribute to shaping your attitude towards the same     
Social media tools make you have a +ve/-ve attitude towards a product based on information accessed about it     
  • Purchase Motivation
Problem StatementStrongly disagreedisagreeUncertainagreeStrongly agree
Social media motivates your direction towards a product based on comments from friends/family     
Social media tools have features that entice you to ask for recommendations of a product     
You get motivated to buy products that are advertised on social media     

Presentation of Findings: How and Why

Statistical software Packages for Social Sciences (SPSS) will be used to aid in data analysis. Both descriptive and inferential statistics method will be applied in the analysis. Descriptive statistics will help to gain numerical data based on frequencies, mean, and standard deviation (Blumberg, Cooper & Schindler 2014). On the other hand, inferential statistics such as correlation and multiple regressions will be used to show the relationship between the use of social media and buying behaviors in customers. Tables and figures are essential since they give a clear understanding of the research interpretation for easy understanding of the phenomenon under study.


Albers, M.J 2017. Quantitative Data Analysis—In the Graduate Curriculum. Journal of Technical Writing and Communication47(2), pp.215-233.

Birchall, J 2014. Qualitative inquiry as a method to extract personal narratives: Approach to research into organizational climate change mitigation. The Qualitative Report19(38), pp.1-18.

Blumberg, B., Cooper. D. R. & Schindler. P. S 2014. Business Research Methods. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill Higher Education.

Crowther, D., and Lancaster, G 2012. Research Methods. London: Routledge.

Hammarberg, K., Kirkman, M., and De Lacey, S 2016. Qualitative research methods: when to use them and how to judge them. Human Reproduction31(3), pp.498-501.

Neuman, L. W 2012. Social Research Methods: Qualitative and Quantitative Approaches (4th Ed.), USA: Allyn and Bacon.

Roulston, K 2014. Interactional problems in research interviews. Qualitative Research14(3), pp.277-293.

Zalaghi, H. and Khazaei, M 2016. The role of deductive and inductive reasoning in accounting research and standard setting. Asian Journal of Finance & Accounting8(1), pp.23-37.

Place this order or similar order and get an amazing discount. USE Discount code “GET20” for 20% discount

Order your Paper Now