Benefits Of Online Qualitative Research

Your go-to guide towards Online Qualitative

Online Qualitative Research has become more prevalent due to the digital world we all now live in, becoming widely practised around the world by researchers and strategists who want to know how consumers think, feel and do.

With the development of digital technologies and smartphones, researchers can be connected with consumers almost 24/7 without having a physical presence.

Why would you conduct Online Qual?

You can immerse yourself within your consumers’ lives, with the ability to observe routines and habits firsthand. Witnessing how respondents react at that moment allows you to conduct a wide range of both one-time and multiple-response activities such as concept testing and diaries.

This method enables you to encourage the participants to have independent interaction with one another – stimulating interesting comments and thought development.

  • You have a wide geographically spread target audience
  • If you need to give the respondents time to consider and reflect
  • If you are trying to warrant and encourage creative thought and responses
  • You can capture pictures and videos
  • To have the ability to track fluctuating attitudes and behaviours over time
  • Your product or service is also based online
  • You need in-depth analysis over a topic, rather than quantitative numbers

There are arguments amongst researchers as to what approach is better from a research point of view, traditional or online style. The arguments against this come from the idea that a researcher has a better interpretation and acuity within traditional methods due to participants’ tone of voice and body language, there are also subtle tells such as clothing and imagery of the respondent, alongside small talk and willingness to share.

The support for online platforms is that many online researchers feel that social pressure can prevent people from being honest and forthright due to the ability to have an anonymous online environment where they can share their views without the fear of social sanction.

What type of Online Qualitative should you use?

Focus Group Company Vision One
Diary Study Research Vision One
Bulletin Boards Research Vision One
Eye Tracking Research Company Vision One
In-depth interviews and groups

These methods are best for deep discussion and thought-provoking topics. These methods allow for the sharing of stimulus and open discussion towards areas of interest for brands. Online Focus Groups are better when you want a group discussion towards your product or service, whereas an In-Depth Interview is chosen for more sensitive or personal topics of discussion, due to the one-to-one nature with the moderator.

Diaries and Ethnography

These methods can be classed as an Online or Video Diaries depending on the researcher’s needs. Whilst ethnography explores customer behaviours through observation. They are commonly used to explore and develop products or services through different phases uncovering behaviours, habits and motivations to actions respondents choose. Being in their natural environments, such as in-home.

Communities & bulletin boards

For longer studies lasting weeks or even months, online communities and bulletin boards provide a better long term value, creating a sustain and structured collaboration within your consumer groups. Whilst the name crosses over from communities to bulletin board or forums, the difference is that bulletin boards and forums are moderated and controlled conversations by researchers designed with the brand, whereas a community is open-ended and are actively involved with creating their discussion boards.


Eye-Tracking is a highly effective methodology to measure the point of gaze or eye motion relative to the head. The video-based tracker software is used to understand key standout points measuring eye positions and eye movement.

introduction to the different aspects of Online Qualitative research. We have outlined the types of methodologies employed and how you should adapt your approach depending on your budget, time, resources and activities. The correct recruitment of your target audience is essential as this provides you with invaluable insightful information – allowing your brand to prosper and grow.


If you would like to know more about the conducting of online qualitative research, you can get in touch with us using the Contact Us button below or call 0203 693 3150.

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