coworkers looking at online qualitative programs
December 29, 2020

Different Types of Online Qualitative Platforms

In any industry, you need to know what consumers are thinking to know how to serve them and give them what they need. Market research helps you obtain this information so that your business has the data it needs to make choices that have the best chance at earning you success. You can use both quantitative and qualitative research to learn more about your target market. While quantitative research involves collecting and analyzing numerical data, qualitative research involves data that isn’t numerical. This includes things like people’s thoughts and opinions, and there are a few different ways it can be collected through market research.  

At Focus Forward, we understand the benefits that each type of online qualitative platform has and which one will best suit the needs of your project.

Focus Groups

An online focus group consists of a group of participants and a mediator and works similarly to in-person focus groups. The mediator will present a topic to the focus group and let participants share their thoughts and discuss them with one another. The interaction that focus groups allow for can help give mediators more information. Participants can feel more at ease when discussing their thoughts with peers and mediators also have the advantage of guiding conversations and asking follow-up questions during discussions.


One-on-one interviews are also popular for qualitative research and can occur in a few different ways online. While some online interviews can take place face-to-face with video chats, they may also utilize email or another form of messaging that allows participants to respond when they’re able. These interviews allow the interviewee to have the interviewer’s full attention so they may express their opinions without influence from any other parties.

Forums and Bulletin Boards

Online qualitative research has the benefit of using forums and bulletin boards for qualitative platforms. If you’ve ever participated in an online discussion board, you’re already familiar with the way forums and bulletin boards operate. Participants can log in to the forum covering a certain topic and post their thoughts and respond to others. This allows participants to have flexibility regarding when they engage with the platform, which can make it more appealing to participate in than something with strict time constraints.

Mobile Ethnographies

Mobile ethnographies can be very involved but give market researchers vital information when the time and resources are available. Ethnographies help market researchers learn more about how their target market acts in their regular environment, and the use of mobile devices helps make this easier. A mobile ethnography study allows participants to stay engaged wherever they are with their mobile devices and give immediate feedback to researchers. Mobile ethnographies are more cost-effective than traditional ethnographies and make it easier for participants to immerse themselves in the study.

Online Surveys

Surveys can be qualitative or quantitative, depending on the questions you ask. Many surveys are multiple-choice or ask simple yes-no questions, but some are much more involved. If a survey includes open-ended questions that allow respondents to give a thorough and detailed answer, this can be considered a form of qualitative research. Online surveys can be sent to participants in various ways, such as via email or text message.

Expert Help with Online Qualitative Platforms

If your business needs to conduct qualitative market research, Focus Forward has the help you need. Having the right team on your side is essential for making your study a success, and with Focus Forward, you can get everything you need all in one place. 

Contact us today to learn more about our services for qualitative research.