online focus groups

How helpful are online focus groups?

Online discussion groups are quick and convenient methods of collecting qualitative data. They are a modern and innovative alternative to traditional face-to-face group discussions (focus groups, mini groups, etc…) that require physical presence from participants at an agreed meeting place. 

There are 3 main types of online discussion groups:

 Online Focus Groups – video chat
Video chat online focus groups should be considered when:
• Face to face interaction between moderator and participants is required
• Geographical constraints do not allow groups to be run in a physical location 
video chat 1Online Focus Groups – text chat
Text chat online focus groups should be considered when:
• Face to face interaction between moderator and participants is not preferred – e.g. due to sensitivity of the topic
• We recommend a max of 10 participants chatBulletin Board (asynchronous group)
A bulletin board should be considered when: 
•Higher volume of participants are required, can facilitate up to 30 participants
•Scheduled session is not required; bulletin board runs for an extended period, usually a few days or a couple of weeks
noun 129738 a2a1a1
There are many benefits to using online discussion groups as a means of obtaining qualitative data. First of all, online focus groups are fairly inexpensive in comparison to traditional focus groups which are conducted in person. They allow interaction between the moderator and participants with no geographical constraints, as participants can get involved from the comfort of their home and there is no need to travel to a particular destination to conduct these focus groups. 


The use of online focus groups can provide a comfortable environment where participants can provide their opinions, minimizing the chances of external factors influencing them, as they are likely to be more comfortable in their home surroundings.Participants can provide their input and describe what they like/don't like when pictures and media are presented to them on screen.


Within online focus groups, 'shared' and 'private' question option modes are available where moderators have the ability to talk privately with participants, potentially gaining more detailed responses.'Shared' modes are also available where group discussions can be prompted. We can provide clients with the option to log onto the discussion group and watch privately, without enclosing their identity and remaining anonymous to other participants. 

There are a variety of benefits from using online focus groups and RbD look forward to using this technique more often with future projects. 

By Tereza Kritickova

This entry was posted in Market research, tagged Consumer, Surveys, Focus Group, Market Research and posted on September 6, 2017

<< Back