With the widespread of the COVID-19 outbreak, where almost the entire world is under lockdown, many market research companies are finding it difficult to continue research, especially those having focus groups planned.
The Online focus groups can be very beneficial to continue research as usual during this pandemic. These groups are easy, cost-effective, and fast ways to continue a research study. Even if companies don’t have such focus groups in their methodology, it is very convenient to convert the traditional groups to the online focus group.
In Online focus groups, a moderator can easily set a virtual focus group room, using Zoom, Skype,or any other video applications and some chat-based applications. The respondents and the moderator need not travel anywhere, instead, they can complete the whole data gathering process from their respective places, which can be any part of the world.
What is a focus group?
A focus group is a type of qualitative research aimed to gain a comprehensive insight into the opinions of a specific profile of respondents on a particular topic. Focus groups are a good way to understand what the existing & prospective customers think about a company’s products/services.
These groups offer an opportunity for both the company and its customers to exchange thoughts and ideas that can promote positive change. That is why, according to a report by ESOMAR, atrade group in 2017, USD$2.2B was spent worldwide on conducting focus groups. Out of this,US$809M routed to the US.
Earlier, the focus groups were limited to operate either through face to face by gathering all the participants in a specific place or over the telephone.
Thanks to current enhancements in technology, Online focus groups have brought about a huge paradigm shift in market research. These groups discuss and debate on a particular topic over the internet.
We can divide the Online focus groups into, the Chat-based, Webcam and Audio-based focus groups. Furthermore, based on the software/tools used to capture the focus group data, they can be further categorized into Synchronous and Asynchronous focus groups. Synchronous is a real-time/live process, conducted via chat or video. Asynchronous focus groups are not real-time, often termed as Bulletin Board Focus Groups (BBFGs), Message Group Focus Groups, or Market Research Online Communities, and usually takes several days to complete.
What benefits a company get from an Online Focus Groups?
There are various benefits that a business can get through an Online focus groups. Following are few of the examples for the same:
Online focus groups are cost-effective:
The cost involved in organizing online focus groups is often much cheaper than a traditional focus group as it eliminates the requirement to transport, lodging,and other expenses of each participant. It is more cost-effective when it comes to conducting focus groups across multiple locations; flying a moderator from city to city, can be the most expensive portion of that research project.Hence, for obvious reasons, an online focus group can completely cut down all these expenses. A recent study suggests that a proper online focus group can save 20% of total expenses compared to the in-person focus groups.
Online focus group increases the geographical spread and diversity:
One of the major disadvantages of in-person focus groups is the geographic limitations. To solve this issue, traveling to multiple places is essential, which is very costly, as we cited in the previous segment. Additionally, nowadays people have a very busy schedule, which often restricts them to participate in Traditional focus groups. Through the Online focus group, a company can accumulate data from more diverse and different geographical locations.
Online focus group increases respondent comfort and accuracy:
In online focus groups, the participants save the travel time since they do not need to travel to a facility, which saves money and time for the participants and the company. All the respondents can enter a virtual focus group room, to provide their feedback on a specific topic, either through text or through video. Moreover, the respondent scan provide the answers more accurately and comfortably at the comfort of their homes. More accurate answers will help the company to infer an unbiased analysis of the topic.
HOPE Research Group is a global business operation solution company, with offices in Miami USA, India, and the Caribbean. HRG accumulated extensive experience in the field of market research. Along with other services, we also conduct both Traditional &Online Focus Groups.
The company has a dedicated group of employees to conduct seamless Online Focus Groups along with required technical proficiency.
We target the most potential respondents across all geographic locations, screened by our highly experienced recruiting professional, and conduct the group with a proficient and trained Moderator. With our highly skilled analysts, HRG also provides reports and presentations as per the client’s requirement.