PAPER SKY BOOKSTORE: SURVEY
RESEARCH CASE STUDY
Robert Robinson
November 4, 2016
Com. 564 Research Methods for Professionals
Washington State University
University District
Bookstore, Spokane
Washington
Table of Contents
Introduction…………………………………………………………………………2
National Bookstore Demographics………………………………………………….2
Design……………………………………………………………………………….3-5
Draft pre-notification, cover letter and questionnaire ……………………………...5-14
Pre-test results for pre-notification cover letter and questionnaire………………….15
Revised pre-notification, cover letter and questionnaire……………………………16-25
Survey related exercises
1. Five closed-ended questions and rewrites…………………………………...26-28
2. Five closed-ended questions with changes levels of measurement………….28-29
3. Confidence level: probability-based sample…………………………………30
4. Confidence interval-margin of error calculations……………………………30-31
5. Discussion of research……………………………………………………….32-33
1
Executive Summary
The purpose of this survey case study is to determine how the local community in
Spokane Washington would receive a new bookstore in the University District. It is the goal of
the study to understand the needs of the community and to understand the risks associated with
opening a new brick-and-mortar store in the area. The primary focus of the study will be on
nonstudents as the data on student purchasing patterns has already been evaluated. The key is
examining the consumers who spend above the national average on books. Information
concerning potential customers and their interests in relation to current reading trends, prices,
product offerings, food and clothing options, store hours, transportation and parking issues as
well as desired store attributes.
Paper Sky Bookstores management team is in the exploratory phase of discovery. The
team will pre-test and develop pre-notification letters, cover letters and questionnaire. A
probability-based sample of Spokane residents living within 12 miles of the proposed bookstore
location reflects the general demographics of the target residents. It is recommended that a
regular mail survey of local residents be conducted in order to use resources optimally through
cost savings and allowing a more comprehensive reach in order to avoid coverage errors and
increase external validity of results. In this exploratory phase, time to project completion is not a
primary issue, rather the accuracy and external validity is the key focus.
National Bookstore Demographics
According to the U.S. Small Business Administration Bookstore 2012 report, the average
household spends $55.23 on bookstores. It was observed that members of specific market
segments spent more than the national average (Bookstore, 2012). The chart presented below is
taken from the Bookstore 2012 Report.
2
Customer Segment
Householders aged 45-64
Married couples with no children at home
Married couples with school-aged or older children
at home
Households in the West
College Graduates (Bachelor's)
Master's, Professional or Doctoral
Percent ABOVE National
Average Spending on Books
12% to 24%
23%
33% to 40%
41%
60%
156%
The highest demographic are individuals with masters, professional or doctoral degrees,
followed by college graduates, households in the west, then married coupled with school-aged or
older children at home, then married couples with no children. The age demographic of 45-64
spent 12 to 24 % above the national average. These demographic considerations are integrated
into the design of the questionnaire.
Design
In developing the research design a number of key content areas were identified and will
also be integrated into the design of the questionnaire. Knowing that bookstore revenues are on
the decline nationally, it is important to know how customer segments currently make their
purchases:

Hard copies vs e-books.

How does pricing impact purchases?

What do customers perceive as ideal shopping experiences?

What type of in-store food experiences, gift or clothing items would customers prefer. In
a university town, like Spokane this may be important?

In what way do customers see potential for outreach between the bookstore and the
community?
3
Procedures: Step 1: Sampling: The Paper Sky Bookstore purchased a probability-based sample
representing the target segment within a 12 mile radius of the proposed store location. The
sample was selected based on a random sampling which generated a list of addresses.
Anonymity is assured by not including resident names. The sample reflects the general
demographics of the target audience. This step saves time by working with the established
probability sample.
Step 2: Survey Component Evaluation Plan: In the development of the survey research, there
is a pre-notification letter to inform respondents selected, that a survey will be sent to them for
their ideas about a new bookstore in Spokane. The respondents are informed that a survey
questionnaire will be arriving. The Paper Sky Management team will design a cover letter to
accompany the survey. A pre-test of the pre-notification letter, cover letter and survey
questionnaire will be conduct with 10 individuals. Time taken to complete the questionnaire was
evaluated along with clarity of instructions, scale formats, what they liked or did not like about
the questionnaire. This data will be evaluated and recommended changes will be made.
Step 3: Pre-notification letter, cover letter and questionnaire drafts. The pre-notification
letter is drafted stating the purpose of the letter and motivating information about the survey to
come. The cover letter describes the purpose of the survey and the value of the respondents’
opinion. The survey includes questions designed to tap into respondents opinions about a book
store in the area. Each one of 10 individuals will provide feedback on the pre-notification letter,
cover letter and questionnaire.
4
Step 4: Results and revisions to pre-notification letter, cover letter and questionnaire. The
results and recommendations were used to revise these survey components. A final draft is
presented for pre-notification letter, cover letter and questionnaire.
Draft Pre-notification Letter
October 25, 2016
Paper Sky Bookstores
P.O. Box 1234
Spokane, Washington, 98749
Dear Resident,
You have been selected to help us determine your ideas for the development of a new bookstore
in downtown Spokane. We have looked at the University District and feel that might be the best
location for your convenience. In the next two weeks you will be receiving a survey so you can
provide us with your opinions about what you expect and what you would prefer in your local
bookstore. If you will be able to complete the survey by mail, we will send you a $50 gift
certificate which you can redeem at a local restaurant of your choice.
Thank you for your consideration.
Paper Sky Management Team
5
Draft Cover Letter
October 28, 2016
Paper Sky Bookstores
P.O. Box 1234
Spokane, Washington, 98749
Dear Resident,
We would like to invite you to give us your feedback and ideas about the development of a new
bookstore in the Spokane University District. We understand there are existing bookstores.
However, with your feedback and ideas, we may be able to develop tailor our store concept to
what you might associate with an ideal bookstore experience. The type of information we will
be asking about are your current reading preferences, preferred pricing, product offerings, instore coffee, food, gift or clothing options, hours, parking and other desired features you can
think of. Your response is confidential. The purpose is to better understand what our local
community members desire in a bookstore. As a thank you, we will send you a $50 gift
certificate upon the returned survey which you can redeem at a local restaurant of your choice.
When the survey is completed, please return it in the stamped and addressed envelope.
Thank you for your time, we value your opinion,
Paper Sky Management Team
6
Draft Questionnaire
Questionnaire Purpose: We would like to invite you to give us your feedback and ideas
about the development of a new bookstore in the Spokane University District. We
understand there are existing bookstores. However, with your feedback and ideas, we hope
to develop tailor our store concept to what you might associate with your preferred
bookstore experience.
This section helps us to know about your book shopping habits and preferences.
1. How often do you go to a bookstore?





Daily
Weekly
Monthly
Never
Other, please specify
2. How many book purchases have you made over the last year?






None
1-3
4-6
7-10
11+
Don’t Remember
3. What motivates you shop at a brick and mortar bookstore? Mark all that apply.


Quality of store merchandise
Book availability
7










Desire to purchase a book
Location
Parking availability
Customer representative knowledge
Customer representative helpfulness
Relaxed store environment with comfortable chairs
Coffee and food offerings
Gift selection
Speakers and presentations
Children’s story time
4. What motivates you to shop for a book online? Mark all that apply.






Ease of selection
Availability
Price
Time efficiency
Easy to browse
Ease of purchase
5. As the bookstore experience changes over time, what are some of the features that would
be appealing to you? Indicate as many as you wish.






In-store coffee shop and food
Online purchasing
E-readers
Excellent customer service
Easy access to the store
Available parking
8








Magazine section.
Gifts and clothing
Extensive book selection
Community reading programs for children
Author presentations
Community outreach programs partnered by the bookstore
Community sponsorship of school reading programs
Extended hours
6. If you were buying a GIFT, which of the following would you consider? (Check all that
apply)















University sporting wear
University logo merchandise
Washington State Cougar gear
Gonzaga Bulldog gear
University paraphernalia
Art Prints
Children's books
Computer supplies
General books
Specialty books
Special affiliation merchandise
Men's clothing
Women's clothing
Music and video
Other__________________________________
9
7. In your opinion, how often do you buy books in these categories? Mark all that apply.
Very often
Arts and music
Audio Books
Biography
Board Games
Business and
finance
Best Sellers
Children’s Books
Computers and
internet
Crafts and
hobbies
Crime, thriller
and mystery
Entertainment
E-readers like
Kindle, Nook
Family and health
Food and drink
History
Home and garden
Literature and
fiction
Magazines and
Periodicals
Psychology
Religion
Science
Science Fiction
and fantasy
Self-improvement
Sports and
outdoors
Travel
Other
Often
Once in a while
Rarely
Never


































































































































8. When you make a bookstore purchase what criteria influences your purchase?
Price
Author
Not at all
Important


Slightly
Important


Neutral


Moderately
Important


Very
Important


10
Availability
Cover Design
Content
Category
Previewing
in store




















9. What information sources do you consider in making your book selection choices? Mark
all that apply.








Newspaper book reviews
Magazine book reviews
Recommendations of friends and family
Book review online sites
Facebook
Twitter
Blogs
Websites like Goodreads
10. How would you prefer to be informed about events/ promotions/ discounts by Paper Sky
Bookstores?






E-mail
Social media
Voice calls
Print ads
Direct mail advertising
Other:_______________________________________________
11. What kind of activities would be appealing to you as Paper Sky Bookstore reaches out to
your community?
11
Weekly e-newsletter
about new books
School outreach
partners
In-store children’s
stories
Author presentations
Customer preference
survey of bookspeaker content.
Bookstore
sponsorship in local
activities
Special discounts
Not
Interested

Slighted
Interested

Neutral

Moderately
Interested

Very
Interested































12. What would your characteristics be in relation to the physical environment of the store?
Mark all that you prefer.









Children’s reading and play area
Supervision of children in the area
Comfortable seating in different store areas
Coffee and food section
Comfortable seating in the food area
Free Wi-Fi
Relaxed atmosphere
Soft background music
Other_________________________________
In order to help us understand what you desire as a potential Paper Sky Bookstore
customer, please indicate what characteristics best represent you. We wish to reassure you
that all information will remain confidential and will not be used for any other purpose.
1. What is your gender?

Male
12

Female
2. What age range are you?






Under 24
25-29
30-39
40-49
50-59
60 +
3. What is the highest level of education you have completed?









Completed some High School
High School/GED
Some college credit
Trade/Technical School
Associate Degree
Bachelor’s Degree
Master’s Degree
Graduate or Professional Degree
Doctoral Degree
4. Please indicate your range of personal yearly income before taxes during the past 12
months?







Less than $25,000
$25,000 to $34,999
$35,000 to $49,999
$50,000 to $74,999
$75,000 to $99,999
$100,000 to $149,999
$150,000 or more
13
5. Please indicate your marital status





Single (never married)
Married
Separated
Widowed
Divorced
6. Describe your current employment status








Full-time employment
Part-time employment
Self-employed
Unemployed
Looking for employment
Retired
Military service
Other_________________________
14
Survey Pre-test Feedback and Revisions
The pre-notification letter, cover letter and survey were presented to 10 people. Time
needed to complete the questionnaire ranged from 5-8 minutes. A number of recommendations
and feedback were reported:



Pre-notification letter:
o Several respondents suggested modifying the pre-notification letter to simplify the
language. Indicate time needed. Revisions were made and can be observed in the
final draft.
o A fifty dollar gift certificate was considered too much for a short survey, so $10
was considered more appropriate.
Draft cover letter:
o Six respondents also suggested simplifying overly wordy sentences. Add
approximate time to take.
o It was also recommended to change the value of the gift certificate to $10
Draft Survey
o The survey was presented in a dark blue font and charts. It looked okay on the
computer view. However, the printed format was much lighter. There were
complaints. Nine respondents suggested changing it to black so they could see it
more clearly.
o All respondents indicated that the length was okay.
o The instructions should be simplified. Delete “we understand there are existing
bookstores” Change “However, with your feedback and ideas, we hope to develop
tailor our store concept to what you might associate with your preferred bookstore
experience.” To “It will help design store characteristics more along the lines of
your preferred bookstore experience.”
o The format with items ranked by a chart was considered quick and efficient.
However, the boxes for marking were too small and hard to see. The color
blocking between lines combined with the small boxes made it confusing. So the
charts were changed to black with larger boxes and clear lines between the
content ratings.
o Did not like questions on marital status. Kept it in to profile customer patterns.
o There were too many different formats – circles or squares. Keep it one or the
other for consistency.
o Try to keep question charts on one page for easier answering.
o Repetition in gift categories, don’t use word paraphernalia – maybe “gear”.
o To question 9 add “Browsing in person” as an option.
o Question 12, change from “what would your characteristics be” to “what would
your preferred characteristics be”
o Moved question to 9 to 12 and 12 to 11 to accommodate full charts on a page
15
Revised Pre-notification Letter
October 25, 2016
Paper Sky Bookstores
P.O. Box 1234
Spokane, Washington, 98749
Dear Resident,
You have been selected as a representative of the community to tell us your ideas for a new
bookstore in downtown Spokane. The University District is an ideal location for your
convenience. In the next two weeks you will be receiving a survey. This is your opportunity to
provide us with your opinions. The survey should take no more than 10 minutes of your time. If
you will be able to complete the survey by mail, we will send you a $10 gift certificate which
you can redeem at a local restaurant of your choice.
Thank you for your consideration.
Paper Sky Management Team
16
Revised Cover Letter
October 28, 2016
Paper Sky Bookstores
P.O. Box 1234
Spokane, Washington, 98749
Dear Resident,
We would like to invite you to give us your feedback and ideas about the development of a new
bookstore in the Spokane University District. Your feedback and ideas in this survey will help
us design a store to meet your needs. The survey should take no more than 10 minutes of your
time. We ask questions about your current reading preferences, preferred pricing, product
offerings, in-store coffee, food, gift or clothing options, hours, parking and other desired features
you can think of. Your response is confidential. The purpose is to better understand what our
local community members desire in a bookstore. As a thank you, we will send you a $10 gift
certificate upon the returned survey which you can redeem at a local restaurant of your choice.
When the survey is completed, please return it in the stamped and addressed envelope.
Thank you for your time, we value your opinion,
Paper Sky Management Team
17
Revised Questionnaire
Questionnaire Purpose: We would like to invite you to give us your feedback and ideas about the
development of a new bookstore in the Spokane University District. It will help us design store
characteristics more along the lines of your preferred bookstore experience.
This section helps us to know about your book shopping habits and preferences.
1. How often do you go to a bookstore?





Daily
Weekly
Monthly
Never
Other, please specify
2. How many book purchases have you made over the last year?






None
1-3
4-6
7-10
11+
Don’t Remember
3. What motivates you shop at a brick and mortar bookstore? Mark all that apply.





Quality of store merchandise
Book availability
Desire to purchase a book
Location
Parking availability
18







Customer representative knowledge
Customer representative helpfulness
Relaxed store environment with comfortable chairs
Coffee and food offerings
Gift selection
Speakers and presentations
Children’s story time
4. What motivates you to shop for a book online? Mark all that apply.






Ease of selection
Availability
Price
Time efficiency
Easy to browse
Ease of purchase
5. As the bookstore experience changes over time, what are some of the features that would be
appealing to you? Indicate as many as you wish.










In-store coffee shop and food
Online purchasing
E-readers
Excellent customer service
Easy access to the store
Available parking
Magazine section.
Gifts and clothing
Extensive book selection
Community reading programs for children
19




Author presentations
Community outreach programs partnered by the bookstore
Community sponsorship of school reading programs
Extended hours
6. If you were buying a GIFT, which of the following would you consider? (Check all that apply)














University sporting wear
University logo merchandise
Washington State Cougar gear
Gonzaga Bulldog gear
Art Prints
Children's books
Computer supplies
General books
Specialty books
Special affiliation merchandise
Men's clothing
Women's clothing
Music and video
Other__________________________________
20
7. In your opinion, how often do you buy books in these categories? Mark all that apply.
Very often
Arts and music
Audio Books
Biography
Board Games
Business and
finance
Best Sellers
Children’s Books
Computers and
internet
Crafts and
hobbies
Crime, thriller
and mystery
Entertainment
E-readers like
Kindle, Nook
Family and health
Food and drink
History
Home and garden
Literature and
fiction
Magazines and
Periodicals
Psychology
Religion
Science
Science Fiction
and fantasy
Self-improvement
Sports and
outdoors
Travel
Other
Often
Once in a while
Rarely
Never


































































































































21
8. When you make a bookstore purchase what criteria influences your purchase?
Not at all
Important
Price
Author
Availability
Cover Design
Content
Category
Previewing in
store
Slightly
Important
Neutral
Moderately
Important
Very
Important






























9. How would you prefer to be informed about events/ promotions/ discounts by Paper Sky
Bookstores? Mark all that you prefer.






E-mail
Social media
Voice calls
Print ads
Direct mail advertising
Other:_______________________________________________
10. What kind of activities would be appealing to you as Paper Sky Bookstore reaches out to your
community? Mark all that you prefer.
Not
Interested
Weekly e-newsletter
about new books
School outreach
partners
In-store children’s
stories
Author presentations
Customer preference
about types of author
presentations
Bookstore sponsorship
in local activities
Slighted
Interested
Neutral
Moderately
Interested
Very
Interested






























22
11. What would be your preferred characteristics be in relation to the physical environment of the
store? Mark all that you prefer.









Children’s reading and play area
Supervision of children in the area
Comfortable seating in different store areas
Coffee and food section
Comfortable seating in the food area
Free Wi-Fi
Relaxed atmosphere
Soft background music
Other_________________________________
12. What information sources do you consider in making your book selection choices? Mark all that
apply.

Newspaper book reviews

Magazine book reviews

Recommendations of friends and family

Book review online sites

Facebook

Twitter

Blogs

Websites like Goodreads

Browsing in person
23
In order to help us understand what you desire as a potential Paper Sky Bookstore customer, please
indicate what characteristics best represent you. We wish to reassure you that all information will
remain confidential and will not be used for any other purpose.
13. What is your gender?


Male
Female
14. What age range are you?






Under 24
25-29
30-39
40-49
50-59
60 +
15. What is the highest level of education you have completed?









Completed some High School
High School/GED
Some college credit
Trade/Technical School
Associate Degree
Bachelor’s Degree
Master’s Degree
Graduate or Professional Degree
Doctoral Degree
16. Please indicate your range of personal yearly income before taxes during the past 12 months?




Less than $25,000
$25,000 to $34,999
$35,000 to $49,999
$50,000 to $74,999
24



$75,000 to $99,999
$100,000 to $149,999
$150,000 or more
17. Please indicate your marital status





Single (never married)
Married
Separated
Widowed
Divorced
18. Describe your current employment status








Full-time employment
Part-time employment
Self-employed
Unemployed
Looking for employment
Retired
Military service
Other_________________________
25
Survey related exercises
5a Five closed-ended questions and rewrites: Select five closed-ended questions from your
survey and change the response scales. If you wrote the questions using Likert scale response
items, for example, rewrite the same questions using semantic differential-type scale response
items.

How often do you rely on these information sources in making a book selection?
Newspaper book reviews
Often ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ Rarely
Magazine book reviews
Often ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ Rarely
Recommendations of friends and family
Often ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ Rarely
Book review online sites
Often ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ Rarely
Facebook
Often ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ Rarely
Twitter
Often ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ Rarely
Blogs
Often ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ Rarely
Websites like Goodreads
Often ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ Rarely
Browsing in person
Often ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ Rarely

Indicate how important these characteristics are in relation to the physical environment of
the store?
Children’s reading and play area
Very Important ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ Not important
Supervision of children in the area
Very Important ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ Not important
Comfortable seating in general
Very Important ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ Not important
A Coffee and food section
Very Important ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ Not important
Comfortable seating in the food area
Very Important ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ Not important
Free Wi-Fi
Very Important ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ Not important
Relaxed atmosphere
Very Important ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ Not important
Soft background music
Very Important ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ Not important

How important are these characteristics in your bookstore shopping experience?
Quality of store merchandise
Very Important ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ Not important
Book availability
Very Important ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ Not important
Desire to purchase a book
Very Important ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ Not important
26
Location
Very Important ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ Not important
Parking availability
Very Important ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ Not important
Customer representative knowledge
Very Important ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ Not important
Customer representative helpfulness
Very Important ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ Not important
Relaxed store environment
Very Important ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ Not important
Comfortable chairs
Very Important ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ Not important
Coffee and food offerings
Very Important ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ Not important
Gift selection
Very Important ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ Not important
Speakers and presentations
Very Important ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ Not important
Children’s story time
Very Important ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ Not important

Indicate how often you buy gifts in these categories.
University sporting wear
Often ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ Rarely
University logo merchandise
Often ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ Rarely
Washington State Cougar gear
Often ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ Rarely
Gonzaga Bulldog gear
Often ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ Rarely
Art Prints
Often ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ Rarely
Children's books
Often ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ Rarely
Computer supplies
Often ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ Rarely
General books
Often ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ Rarely
Specialty books
Often ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ Rarely
Special affiliation merchandise
Often ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ Rarely
Men's clothing
Often ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ Rarely
Women's clothing
Often ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ Rarely
Music and videos
Often ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ Rarely
27

Rate how you like or dislike the type of communication to inform you about events,
promotions and discounts by Paper Sky Bookstores?
E-mail
Like ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ Dislike
Social media
Like ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ Dislike
Voice calls
Like ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ Dislike
Print ads
Like ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ Dislike
Direct mail advertising
Like ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ Dislike
5b Five closed-ended questions with changes in levels of measurement: Select five different
closed-ended questions from your survey and rewrite the question (as closely as possible)
changing the levels of measurement. If you wrote a question using a Likert or semantic
differential response scale, for example, we will treat this as an interval level of measurement.
Rewrite the same questions (as closely as possible) using a nominal or ordinal level of
measurement.
Please answer the following questions by ranking your answers from 1 to 5.
1 is the highest and 5 is the lowest.

Rank the characteristics that motivate you to buy your books online?
___ Ease of selection
___ Availability
___ Price
___ Time efficiency
___ Ease of purchase

Rank in order of importance the criteria that influences your book purchase?
1 is the highest and 5 is the lowest.
___ Price
___ Author
___ Availability
___ Cover Design
28
___ Content Category
___ Previewing in store

Rank the kind of bookstore-community outreach activities which would most to least appealing to
you? 1 is the highest and 5 is the lowest.
___ Weekly e-newsletter about new books
___ School outreach partners
___ In-store children’s stories
___ Author presentations
___ Bookstore sponsorship in local activities

Rank the information sources you consider in making a book selection.
1 is the highest and 5 is the lowest.
___ Print book reviews
___ Recommendations of friends and family
___ Book review online sites
___ Social Media
___ browsing in person

Rank what characteristics motivate you to shop at a brick and mortar bookstore.
1 is the highest and 5 is the lowest.
___ Quality of store merchandise
___ Book availability
___ Location
___ Parking availability
___ Customer representative knowledge
29
5c. Confidence level: probability-based sample. Complete the following calculations.

Calculate the size of a probability-based sample (that is, the final sample or number of
completed interviews) necessary to produce a survey with a 95% confidence level and a
+/ 4% confidence interval.
Formula n=( cl/ci)2 (v)(1-v)
n= number of completed interviews
cl = (confidence level) 1.96 sd
ci = (confidence interval) .04
v = (variance) .5

Recommended sample size 600
Calculate the size of sample necessary to produce a survey with a 95% confidence level
and a +/ 2% confidence interval.
Formula n=( cl/ci)2 (v)(1-v)
n= number of completed interviews
cl = (confidence level) 1.96 sd
ci = (confidence interval) .02
v = (variance) .5

n = (1.96/.04)2 (.5) (1- .5)
n = (2401) (.5) (.5)
n = 600.25
n = (1.96/.02)2 (.5) (1- .5)
n = (9604) (.5) (.5)
n = 2401
Recommended sample size 2401
Calculate the size of a sample necessary to produce a survey with a 99% confidence level
and a +/ 3% confidence interval (just for fun). These may be hand written. Please show
your work to receive credit.
Formula n=( cl/ci)2 (v)(1-v)
n= number of completed interviews
cl = (confidence level) 1.96 sd
ci = (confidence interval) .03
v = (variance) .5
n = (2.58/.03)2 (.5) (1- .5)
n = (7396) (.5) (.5)
n = 1849
Recommended sample size 1849
5d Confidence interval-margin of error calculations
Even though you have not completed your survey, calculate the confidence of interval or
margin of error for the following number of completed interviews (use the 95%
confidence level): 425 completed interviews, 517 completed interviews and 652
completed interviews. These may be hand written. Please show your work to receive
credit.
30
Calculate the confidence of interval or margin
of error for the following number of completed
interviews (use the 95% confidence level): 425
completed interviews
e or ci =
√
()(1 − )
(100) =    
−

ci= range of error or confidence interval
sd=1.96 normal curve 95%
v=variance .5 in this case
n=number of completed interviews
Calculate the confidence of interval or margin
of error for the following number of completed
interviews (use the 95% confidence level): 517
completed interviews
e or ci = √
()(1 − )
(100) =
−

(. 5)(1 − .5)
1.96 √
(100) =
−
425
1.96 √0.0005882 (100) =
(1.96) (.0242528) (100) = 4.75354
ci= 4.7 %
e or ci = √
()(1 − )
(100) =
−

(. 5)(1 − .5)
1.96 √
(100) =
−
517
(1.96) (.0219886) (100) = 4.30
ci= 4.3 %
Calculate the confidence of interval or margin
of error for the following number of completed
interviews (use the 95% confidence level): 652
completed interviews
e or ci = √
()(1 − )
(100) =
−

(. 5)(1 − .5)
1.96 √
(100) =
−
652
(1.96) (.0195806) (100) = 3.83779
ci= 3.8 %
31
Discussion
5e What potential issues will your research method raise in terms of internal and external
validity, reliability, accuracy?
The data used with the confidence interval margins and sample size assumes that we are
using a probability sample based on random selection. In this case the assumptions are met. The
more representative the sample of the target population, the more accurately we can observe
patterns of opinion. The confidence interval gives us some idea of how accurately we can
generalize from this data. These calculations give us guidelines from which to proceed.
The probability sample used in this research provides a relatively accurate sample of the
population from which a degree of external validity can be generated. With the confidence level
of 95% using 425 completed interviews the margin of error was 4.7%. This would allow us to
make generalizable inferences from the sample to the population representing a degree of
external validity. In relation to internal validity, we have to evaluate if the questions proposed on
the survey provide enough information to explain the outcome Paper Sky Bookstores wanted to
research. At face value, the general information appears to be represented by the questions.
However, it may be necessary to revise the questionnaire for a final evaluation. The questions do
help us assess what the customers are looking for in a bookstore, but there is always room for
improvement. It appeared that the questions were fairly consistent in producing similar
information under the survey format, producing a somewhat reliable survey. Taken together, the
validity and reliability considerations should work together to produce a fairly consistent survey.
Limitations
One of the question categories used was nominal level of measurement. Those are the
questions where categorical items were marked as a choice. The purpose was so see what
categories were important to the respondents. The information may be useful to sample
opinions, but it will not provide data for statistical analyses.
Another main category of question type was based on interval data. The questions were
mutually exclusive, exhaustive and ordered in the sense that there were equal intervals between
responses. The data from these questions can be applied to statistical analysis if the sample also
32
is representative, which it is. A question measuring how many books were purchased in a year
was based on a ratio scale, as the numbers assigned were real numbers. This question format uses
a powerful scale that can also applied statistical tests. There is a mixed question pattern which
leads to different analyses of the data. In the case of this survey, ease of response was considered
which resulted in a mixed format pattern. The results can still be summarized by question type
and analyzed for customer preferences.
Problems associated with mail surveys which places limitations on this research is the length
of time it takes to complete the mailing, response and summary of the data. For example there is
generally a low response rate for mail surveys. In this case a gift certificate was offered upon
receiving the completed survey. This should help in improving response rate. The current study
does not use a follow-up card as a reminder to complete the survey. This is a current limitation.
A thank-you card or letter should also be included to encourage survey return rate.
References
Bookstore 2012. Small Business Market Research Reports. SBDCNet. Retrieved from
http://www.sbdcnet.org/small-business-research-reports/bookstore-2012
Fink, A. (2017). How to conduct surveys. Los Angeles, Sage.
Austin, E. & Pinkleton, B. (2015). Strategic Public Relations Management. New York,
Routledge.
33
Download PDF
Similar pages