Assignment 3


"Holiday Shopping"

The third assignment was a little bit hard for me because I am not used to interview people, and interviewing strangers was even harder. So I was so worried about this week's assignment but it turned out to be fun and a good experience. I conducted interviews with three people and none of them I know very well. My given sub theme is "Holiday Shopping," so I asked each person regarding the sub theme, starting from an opening question, "tell me any experience you have about holiday shopping."

Interview with Jacob

I first interviewed with Jacob who I did not really know about but who is my neighbor and lives in the same apartment. And he seemed to be always nice, so I just asked him if he had a time for an interview when he was smoking a cigarette outside.

Opening question

- Tell me any experience you have about holiday shopping.

When I asked this question, he seemed struggling to find his experience with holiday shopping because the sub theme was still broad, so I gave him a little sight and some of the big holiday events such as Christmas, Thanksgiving, New Years. He picked Black Friday as part of big customs during the Thanksgiving week. So he focused on his experience about the Black Friday shopping as I continued questioning related to Holiday shopping. He said that holiday shopping was not a special thing that he would celebrate because it was just busy. He prefers going shopping with a partner rather than with friends or family members. He likes shopping electronic products online because online has better deals. He said that smaller electronics, DVDs, movies, accessories for devices, have a better deal than expensive electronic products on Black Friday. Because he knows about electronic stuff and he actually worked in an electronic industry, he likes helping people with it and likes suggesting things to his friends about which products are better.

I would like to raise a problem he encountered on Black Friday.

I asked him a question, "what is the worst experience about holiday shopping."
It was in 2000 on Black Friday and he waited in line for three hours outside of an electronic store. He wanted to buy a computer because it was on sale. I asked him why he had chosen the store even he knew he had to wait for a long time to get the PC. As I kept asking "why" question, I reached to a root of the problem why he ended up going to the store. It was not just because of Black Friday that there were so many people and he had to wait.

1. He had to wait in line for a long time outside of the store
- He had no option
- So many people wanted to get big deal products
- It was during Black Friday
- He could not go to a different store
- He did not have a car, and
- At that time (2000), online shopping on Black Friday was not really available

Interview with JD

My second interviewee was JD who worked at Best Buy and is studying at U of M. We were in the same class the last semester but knew a little about each other. I happened to see him at the library. Because I knew that he had worked at Best Buy, I thought it might be a good opportunity to interview as a person who was definitely related to the sub-theme of holiday shopping.

I asked him the same opening question as Jacob. His first response was the exactly the same as Jacob's when I asked about holiday shopping experience. JD does not like shopping on holiday and try to avoid it because it is noisy, crowded and annoying. He says he goes shopping alone if He has to buy something for his family on holiday because when he goes somebody, it takes time and he simply wants to get it done as soon as possible. He also talked about online shopping as his major shopping tool. He uses online for anything especially for books.

I asked him about differences between online shopping and actual shopping in stores.
According to him, online shopping

- He can do research right there if he has the access to the internet, and shopping becomes available to everyone at anytime and he can save time and save money.

Whereas actually going to stores,

- He can sample things and actually touch it and knows right away if this is what he really wants. He also says that he feels less anxious when he buys expensive products from stores because he has opportunities to ask workers and he can look at every part of a product at every angle. But he sometime feels anxious when he buys things from online. He says, online shopping might be disappointing if products he receives turn out to be not what he really wants, since he can't observe products and have to relying on descriptions of the products and pictures.

I asked him next about working on holiday. He told me about his experience working on Black Friday and he told me how he feels about holiday shopping. He says that the society became very materialistic and people became blinded in both consumers and providers.

Black Friday Fights

The problem I raise from JD's interview was that he never liked working on Black Friday even he got paid twice as much as he usually received.

He does not like Black Friday because
-Crowded, noisy
-People often fight
-Very tiring
-10 hours of work with no break.

Interview with Doc

The last person I interviewed was Doc. The reason I interviewed him was because I knew that he liked holiday shopping, and I chose him because the first two interviewees I had did not like holiday shopping at all. So I wanted have a fun sight of holiday shopping.

When I asked him a question, "what is the most memorable gift you bought for someone during the holiday season," he talked about a gift of a pillow he had bought for his girlfriend. When his girlfriend moved to the U.S. from France, she had to leave everything behind in France, and she could not bring her favorite pillow she had used since a child. Jacob searched for her a pillow that looked exactly like the pillow she had, and he bought it during a holiday season two months prior to her birthday. So what he likes about online shopping are that he can look for a specific thing in a broad content in specific, and he can go several different stores at the same time without moving.

He also talked about a bad experience. He bought 32 inch TV at Wal-Mart because it was on sale. But the TV was a low quality, and it broke soon after he bought. He said that it was just a cheaply made product.

Needs a way to and because statement

Finding a Problem (Many people do not like shopping on holiday and they get frustrated about it)

- Customers need a way to get customer services at anytime because workers are too busy and customers can't get hold of them.

Finding a Problem (Some people are afraid of buying certain types of products online)

- Online shoppers need a way to find suitable clothes without failure because they can only rely on the descriptions attached to the product and it is limited.

I took a survey after I interviewed each person, and the result is based on the response of three interviewees I conducted with.


- I prefer shopping online rather than going to stores 4/5

- I am usually satisfied with deals available during holiday seasons 3.5/5

- I am usually satisfied with deal I get for my products 4/5

- I prefer going holiday shopping alone 2/5

- It is better to compare deals with another store 5/5

- I usually make a list of things I want to buy when I go shopping on holiday 3.5/5

- Holiday shopping, I buy things for myself rather than for others 2/5

- I help people buy things rather than putting time for myself 4/5

- It is better to buy expensive electronic products (TV, PC, refrigerator...) on holiday 3/5

- It is a place where shoppers socialize with others 2/5

- I like being in the crowd when I shop 1/5

- Holiday shopping is a time you can get the best deal 3/5

- I usually end up window shopping 3/5

I had a fun time with this assignment and could get to socialize with people through the interviews. I noticed while I was interviewing. All of the interviewees I conducted with mentioned about online shopping first before I did. As Jacob told me, online shopping was not really accessible to everyone until recently. But now it is definitely a significant part in everyday life. I just thought through this assignment how online shopping became a significant part of people's life.


I like that you were very thorough in your interviews. You clearly asked many questions of each interviewee. I also like that you included a survey.
I would have liked to see you include the full names and pictures of your interviewees. By taking a little time to develop their personas, you will allow your readers to better understand the consumer perspectives you investigated.
It isn’t clear to me how you used your survey. How did it help you identify a problem? How did it benefit your research?
Even though it might have been difficult for you to observe or experience your topic, you could have included additional research. It would be neat to compare articles about online shopping to the experiences of your interviewees.
Overall, great work!

You made some great selections for your interviewees. I love that you managed to get a best buy employee! That is very cool, and made for a very interesting read. You are also the only post of the three I've reviewed tonight that included a survey, which was interesting, though I feel you could have put a bit more time into analyzing your data from it. I also am a bit confused as to where exactly your survey data comes from. Did you only survey the people you interviewed, or did you survey others as well? Apart from that, I like the layout of the post, but it would be nice if you could include sources for the images which you did not take yourself. It would be nice to know if the images shown actually belong to the people you interviewed, or were just stock photos which happened to be related to the subject.

Props for interviewing people you didn't know that is difficult and it's good to see people are moving outside of their comfort zone.

I found myself a bit confused with the first person you interviewed because you mentioned "he had no option." did he have no option because he had no car or no internet, or was it because of something else? To me it doesn't sound like the right order of why question. I would suggest organizing that list like this...

He had to wait in line for a long time outside of the store.

- He had no option
- So many people wanted to get big deal products
- It was during Black Friday

Revist the "he had no option" statement
- He could not go to a different store
- He did not have a car, and
- At that time (2000), online shopping on Black Friday was not really available

To me this feels more like how the questions and answers would have been organized and in a way that is easy to follow.

I think your interview with JD was very interesting, I find myself being less anxious buying a product when it's in front of me because I can inspect the product whereas online I can't. Also the pictures were a nice added touch to the interview.

I think another problem could be online shoppers need a way of inspecting online products more thoroughly to better gain confidence of the potential sale.

Overall great job, the interviews was great too although I think you could've distributed it to more than just the three people you interviewed.

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This page contains a single entry by kinjo001 published on November 11, 2013 10:08 AM.

Assignment 2 was the previous entry in this blog.

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