Focus groups online – accelerating trend
Online research methods are getting more and more popular nowadays. It’s not surprising, considering the enormous advantages they have: cost- and time-effectiveness! Time is money, as they say, and going online with your market research might save you a lot! In the case of some methods, it’s relatively easy to replace face-to-face meetings with Internet alternatives. For example, online one-on-one meetings are very similar to those conducted in our facility or the respondent’s home. We schedule a meeting and at the designated time a moderator and a respondent sit down in front of their computers, connect, and… here it is! Yet, in some cases, this might be more challenging. It gets way more difficult when we need to meet with more than just one person. But here we are with some suggestions, wow to organize and realize successful focus groups online!
Just like in the case of groups in the facility, also recruiting respondents to online focus groups requires a thorough check on the screener criteria. Yet, when recruiting to online groups, it is also worth verifying whether the respondent is capable of using online technology and if his or her internet connection is stable enough to provide a connection of good quality. Similarly to traditional focus groups, it is a good practice to recruit 1-2 more respondents that you need for the group. This prevents you from wasting time to reschedule the whole interview!
Moderating groups online might be even easier and might offer more possibilities than traditional groups. Think of the online stimuli you might use! Videos, visuals, whiteboards that the respondents might write on… Running groups online also offers a chance to do efficient products or services testing.
A good internet connection is key! Currently, there are plenty of platforms (both, paid and free ones) offering meetings online, so usually, there is no problem with even large meetings online. Yet, if there’s a need to include a simultaneous translator, usually smaller groups are recommended (up to 6 people). Then, some platforms offer different forms of participation with different functionalities – for example, for moderators, observers, or translators.
Other online research methods
Online focus groups are only one of many various options for online market research. Check out all possibilities that we could offer.