Over a decade ago, nobody in the market research world would have guessed what the industry would look like today. Market research – traditionally the domain of experts gathering information about consumers’ needs and preferences with pads and pens in hand – has now become heavily dominated by tech-savvy individuals.
Nowadays surveys pop up on your phone at any time, robots collect your data and provide companies with information on your likes and dislikes; you can be targeted for completing a survey based on your browsing history or based on what you’ve recently liked on a social media platform.
All of this goes to say that conventional market research methods are dying a slow death. Business models are changing and so is the way in which consumers shop and interact with one another; and these changes have paved the way for a new, fresh solution: taking market research online. (Source: McVal Osborne, ORC International)
Qualitative research is generally used in the exploratory phases of research to gain an understanding of underlying reasons, opinions and motivations. This type of research is less structured than quantitative approaches, focusing more on examining the feedback given in order to obtain a deeper insight. When conducting such studies, there is typically a smaller, non-representative sample selected to participate.
As one of the fastest growing segments in market research, online qualitative brings the advantage of cost effective recruitment, but also facilitates access to a wider audience through greater refinement in sample segmentation. Participants can now be recruited online from panels, databases, surveys or other sources rather than just by traditional means. (Source: Will Robinson, Research Now)
Another advantage of online qual is the ability to conduct research using synchronous (i.e. real-time) or asynchronous (i.e. non-real time) methods. Synchronous methods such as text chat focus groups or in-depth interviews capitalise on the respondents’ willingness to participate in the moment whereas asynchronous methods such as bulletin boards allow for greater time flexibility.
Preparing and running an online qualitative research study also involves lower levels of administration than face-to-face approaches, making it a practical solution for both market research specialist agencies as well as for companies with an in-house qualitative department.
…So finally – an opportunity to conduct meaningful, cost-effective research!
If you would like to find out more about how to best take advantage of online qualitative software and make your research study a success, then please write to us or give us a call.
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