Store visits involve the gathering of information about consumer markets through direct observation in selected shops. These visits can be carried out on a very limited budget and can provide a great deal of useful information. When carrying out a store visit, the researcher does not interview anyone. (S)he simply takes note of certain facts and records these on a checklist. Store checks can provide the following type of information:
- Prices at the retail level
- The identity of competing products
- The relative importance of competing products in terms of shelf space
- Methods of packaging
- The nature of in-store promotion and advertising campaigns
Through observation, the researcher can through observation acquire information about other marketing practices abroad. (S)he can, for instance, take note of press and media advertising, or can attend trade fairs and observe such things as which companies are exhibiting, the size of their stands, the nature of their displays, the literature they distribute, etc.