Customer decision making survey

Through the Global Applied Program (GAP), I had the wonderful opportunity to visit China for the first time in my life. And as mentioned in my cultural blog, I planned to take this opportunity to learn both the cultural and the business environment of China. I was part of the marketing team of the project. And on this blog I am going to share and reflect on the experience our team had while we were trying to conduct consumer survey in order to learn more about the customer decision making process.

Malls/Supermarkets – Talking to the Sales RepresentativesIMG_0352

As part of the project, we planned to conduct in depth interviews with our target consumer to understand more about the consumer’s decision making process. Our first step was to gather some basic product information and currents trends in the market by talking to the sales representative at the malls. But contrary to expectation, the sales representatives were not very open in sharing information with us when we  approached them as students. Therefore, we immediately changed our strategy and tried the role play of a young American businessperson looking to purchase an air purifier for his office with the Chinese student acting as his assistant helping him understand the different models and standards of the purifiers. Although this strategy helped us with the sales reps in understanding the different products in the market, surprisingly the sales representatives would not allow us to take pictures in the stores. Instead, we had to discreetly take pictures. Above are some of the picture that we took while in the stores.

Malls/Supermarkets – Talking to the Consumers

After being somewhat successful in talking with the sales representative, we decided to try our luck with some of the consumers shopping in the malls and supermarkets. From my perspective, talking to these customers was the single biggest hurdle we faced during the entire project. To give an idea of how challenging it was to talk to a consumer, we visited a total of five malls/supermarkets and approached nearly 40-50 people. Only three of them responded to us, and all three were non-Chinese residents currently living in China.

WeChat – the Savior

In the end, the only way we successfully gathered data on consumer behavior was through passing our survey on WeChat.





Food, Language and Travel

Through the Global Applied Program (GAP), I had the wonderful opportunity to visit China for the first time in my life. I planned to use this opportunity to learn both the cultural and the business environment of China. It has been exactly two weeks since we reached China. And, everyday has been a unique experience. On this blog, I am going to share and reflect on my cultural experience.Oriental Pearl Tower













Food:bubble Tea

I am a vegetarian, and, as some of you may know, China is not the most vegetarian friendly place. Combine that with the language barrier… It can be very hard to find good, vegetarian food without the help of a local friend. I remember our very first evening in Shanghai. We went out forStreet Food dinner and it took us 30 mins to order plain rice and vegetables. Later that night, we took the metro to roam around the city and got lost. However, we had the hotel card with us and were able to find our way back without much trouble. Fortunately for us, we had Hong and Aaron for the rest of our time in China.Scorpion

Although I have food restrictions, I enjoyed trying new dishes and snacks like the Bimbimbap, the hotpot, the Pocky sticks, the cheese tart and the bubble tea.Bullfrog Legs More than for myself, I enjoyed watching the rest of my team experimenting with all kinds of food. In the US, I’ve been exposed to beef, pork and chicken (maybe some lamb every now and then). But, in the last two week I have been exposed to many dishes: Bullfrog Legs and Peking Ducks and street food such as  scorpions and seahorses.

Roasted Duck









One of our first touristy visits was to Peoples Square, a large public square in the Huangpu district of Shanghai. From there, we hopped a double decker tourist bus that took us to all the famous and historical places in Shanghai. The tour also included a ferry ride in the Huangpu river and a visit to the Oriental Pearl Tower


The Oriental Pearl Tower is not just a tourist attraction; it has historical importance as it was the tallest building in China until 2007. The Pearl Tower has15 observatory levels, with the highest level at 350 meter. We also went to the sightseeing glass floor which gives a 360-degree view of the entire Shanghai. There is also a revolving restaurant, a rollercoaster and a game arcades area in the
tower.Tour Bus

During the second week of our project, we went to Beijing where we visited the Forbidden City. Located in the centre of Beijing, the Forbidden City was the Chinese Imperial Palace from the Ming dynasty to the end of the Qing dynasty. Constructed from 1406 to 1420, the city consists of 980 buildings and covers 180 acres. After doing some research on the Forbidden City, I found out that it was declared a World Heritage Site in 1987 and is listed by UNESCO as the largest collection of preserved ancient wooden structures in the world.Beijing Flag Ceremony








We also woke up at 4:00 one morning to watch the flag raising ceremony at Tian’anmen Square, Beijing. The ceremony is conducted every morning, exactly at sunrise. The entire ceremony lasts for three minutes. It is said that it takes about two minutes and seven seconds for the entire sun to rise above the horizon, and the flag is raised slowly to coordinate with sunrise.

Lastly, before leaving Beijing, we visited the Great Wall of China (a two hour car ride from Beijing). I had always heard and seen pictures of the Great Wall, but being there and seeing it in person was a completely different experience.Forbidden City

So far it has been a great two weeks/ I look forward for the last five days and plan to visit the famous World Expo site and the Yu Garden in Shanghai.

Great Wall of China