Understanding the Consumer

Understanding the Consumer

Courses Info

Level: AS Levels, A Level, GCSE – Exam Boards: Edexcel, AQA, OCR, WJEC, IB, Eduqas – Economics Revision Notes 

Primary and Secondary market research data

Primary Research

  • This is carried out directly by conducting surveys, interviews, and observations
  • By extracting data through primary research, it allows firms to explore exactly what they need to
  • Data tends to be more specific, however can also be more expensive

Secondary Research

  • This is carried out by a third party, such as the government
  • There are very low costs involved with conducting secondary research – it can be accessed for free and data can be extracted using libraries, internet and newspaper articles
  • Secondary research can be less time consuming
  • Secondary research can be more generic and may not be exactly what is required

Qualitative Data and Quantitative Data

Qualitative Data

This is descriptive and provides information regarding consumer satisfaction. This can include opinions towards directing a firm on the products that consumers want

Quantitative Data

This is numerical and consists of statistical data

Limitations of market research, sample size and bias

  • Market Research – this involves using a collection of data to understand consumer demands more thoroughly
  • Large sample size is usually ideal – this lowers the margin error as there is a wide range of opinions, making data more objective
  • Strong confidence level – this suggests the research is confident about the research

Categorising consumers

  • Market Segmentation – the market is divided into smaller groups consisting of consumers with similar characteristics
  • For e.g a market may be segmented by its geographical location or demographics
  • Better opportunities are able to grow when promoting goods / services by segmenting a market as it allows consumer demands to be met more efficiently


Quick Fire Quiz – Knowledge Check

1. Explain the difference between Primary Research and Secondary Research (6 marks)

2. Explain the difference between Qualitative Data and Quantitative Data (4 marks)

3. Identify and explain three key points for market research, sample size, and bias (6 marks)

4. Explain what is meant be ‘Market Segmentation’ and provide an advantage of this (4 marks)


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