About online qualitative research

Online qualitative research is now an established research methodology and is widely practiced around the world by researchers, planners and strategists wanting to reach out and engage consumers and experts for insight and ideas. Asynchronous methods including bulletin board focus groups (BBFG) and insight communities, and live online focus groups are among the most popular techniques.

Why do online qual research

There are many reasons to use online qual methods, not least because they provide a more cost effective and timely way to conduct you research, especially with respondents spread far and wide. You’ll also enjoy the benefits of reflection and creativity, as well as much richer response from a wider cross-section of your respondents.

Face-to-face is great if you want to push respondents into uncomfortable space, in-depth interviews and visceral reactions, whereas online qual lets you get deeper and immerse yourself with consumers lives, their rituals and habits. It lets you witness first-hand how people feel and react in-the-moment and lets you conduct a range of one-time and multiple response activities such as retail safaris, concept testing and journals.

Online qual is also great when you want to encourage a lot of independent interaction between respondents. Often the most fascinating discussions start when participants ask each other questions – questions you might not ask as a moderator.

When to use online qualitative research

Consider using online qual when:

  • you have a geographically spread sample that can’t commit to being physically available all at the same time
  • you need to give respondents time to consider and/or reflect on their experiences
  • you want to encourage open, expressive and creative thought and response
  • you want to capture pictures and videos in-the-moment
  • projects require quick turnaround
  • you want to identify talented, creative individuals that you later want to engage face-to-face
  • the service / product / problem to be researched is also based online
  • you need to track shifting attitudes and behaviours over time
  • you need to give respondents time and space to reflect, look at the issues from another angle, discuss it and come up with answers/solutions
  • you need a balance between the individual’s story and group reactions
  • the topic is extremely personal and / or complex – in which case respondents might struggle to express themselves well without feeling under pressure in a face-to-face environment

What next?

Dub can help you design and execute your online qual research with our flexible range software and support services. We can provide you with just the software, or we can hold your hand and guide you through the experience, transferring knowledge along the way.

Why not check-out our case studies, or get in contact to discuss your requirements with Dub’s team of seasoned professionals.

You can also book a free demo or request a quotation at any time.