Adopting Online Qualitative Research

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Posted Oct 16, 2018

The market research industry is constantly evolving, and it is becoming more important than ever to stay current on the latest trends! Professional market researchers and business owners alike are starting to use online qualitative research tools to design and launch a variety of consumer or business-to-business research studies.

The growing interest in online qualitative tools is derived from the challenge for researchers and companies to respond to the market in near real-time. Due to the innovation of online qualitative research, gathering insights on buyer journeys, testing concepts, or even obtaining feedback on an ad campaign can be achieved at a faster rate than ever before.

Addressing the Averseness

Online qualitative research doesn’t have to be a scary or foreign concept. In fact, with the ever-growing influence of social media in people’s day-to-day lives, online interactions are now quite comfortable and common. With the advancement of online qualitative technology, businesses are able to benefit from much of the following:

  • Reduced Cost: the potential savings with online qualitative research are mostly garnered from the time and money that will not be spent on travel to research facilities. There is also a huge potential to reduce sample cost by accessing low incidence targets who tend to be geographically dispersed through the power of online qualitative tools.
  • Combining Quantitative Research: integrating quantitative techniques with qualitative is often used during or directly following an online quantitative survey. Through the use of a quantitative survey platform, researchers are able to recruit eligible respondents that they wish to probe further, qualitatively. The combination of online quantitative and qualitative tools offers researchers and businesses the best of both worlds. In the scenario where it is not ideal to hop from city to city to observe respondents in person, online qualitative offers the convenience of having a discussion directly through computers.
  • Expanded Geographic Reach: online qualitative tools typically allow researchers to access a sizable group of voluntary respondents. Due to the larger pool of participants, it is easier for researchers to recruit a more representative sample. Unlike respondents recruited from databases maintained by local focus group facilities, online qualitative tools can provide access to respondents from distant geographies who can participate simultaneously. Through an established process, a respondent can seamlessly participate in both an individual interview and a group discussion during a single project.
  • Real-World Scenarios: online qualitative tools have the capability of incorporating real-world occurrences in which respondents can report on their experiences as they are happening in a real-time situation. For example, selected participants can visit a store, purchase a product, and share their reactions about their shopping experiences via an online diary.

Online qualitative research is a powerful tool in the correct situations. The potential is vast, but it is important to choose a methodology that best suits target and research objectives.

The Takeaway

There are numerous advantages to online qualitative research! The projects are cost efficient, there are shorter turnaround times, and with the universal use of smartphones, respondents can provide genuine feedback. If you have a sensitive research topic or have a target that is difficult to pin down, then online qualitative research might be the smartest approach. When used correctly, online qualitative methodologies can result in richer, more insightful findings.

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