Most Digital Distance online courses will contain a workplace-based Activity or Practicum that you will be required to record, usually for professional certification purposes. To give you some idea of how to record your findings and observations we have provided here a Sample Activity and a Sample Log Entry.
A Quick Check of Your Competition
> Visit your nearest competitor and note the day of the week and the time of day
> Check for the following:
- Attractiveness of the window display
- Friendliness of the sales associates
- Customer-friendliness of the in-store displays and in-store facilities
- Range of product available
- How busy the store was and what sort of customers were there
- What have you learned that could help your store
SAMPLE LOG ENTRY
A Visit to A Competitor - March 16, 1999
- I went to visit Company X
Time and Date
There were plenty of sales associates, and they were not all serving customers, but no-one acknowledged me for at least five minutes. If I hadn't been on this assignment I would probably already have left the store by then. Two of them seemed to be having a private conversation and I got the impression that this was more important to them than my custom. There was no sign of the store manager.
In-store Display & Facilities
The in-store displays were as appealing as the store window and were very well organized. It was easy to find the colour and size of the clothes you wanted. The only problem was the lack of enough fitting rooms, so customers were having to line up to try on the product. Perhaps they needed to sacrifice some of their display area for more fitting rooms. I saw at least two customers, who had selected an armful of products, give up and leave the store in just the 30 minutes I was there.
There was a very good range of product in plenty of colour and size options. They must have a very good inventory control system that probably has an automatic re-order component. I did ask if they had a particular product in a very large size (I said it was for my mother's birthday in a week's time). They did not have this in stock but said they could get it to me in 24 hours, guaranteed, or it would be free! I was almost tempted to try them out but I'm not sure my mother would actually like the skirt! However, I guess they must be confident of their delivery system if they give this offer!
The store was very busy, probably because it was lunch time and there are lots of office towers close by. I would guess that most customers were women between the ages of 18 to 35 and most of these were shopping in the lunch hour. They needed to have fast service and could not afford to wait long. I would also guess that many were repeat customers because they seemed to know their way around the store and made their choices quickly.