With pandemic, the remote market research methodologies have become more popular. Gone are those days of in-person focus groups discussions. We would rather say that focus groups are evolving and emphasis is more on virtual or online groups.
So here Instead of recruiting groups of individuals to conduct in-person discussions face to face with a moderator, participants are recruited into an online forum like a Zoom video conference room (or similar software). Participants are able to share their feedback, thoughts, and answers to questions as asked.
Remote focus groups are a growing trend in the market research industry. The main advantages of conducting online focus groups mostly revolve around cost savings, time savings, and broader coverage of respondents.
The first benefit is of course cost savings. Online focus groups can significantly reduce the overhead cost on a qualitative research project. No booking of a designate space to conduct the discussions, no cost on travelling for the moderator and the respondents. This saves money and the money saved can be used as a stipend for the respondents.
Benefit 2: Save on Time
Another benefit is time savings. Without any need to travel, the moderator and team and the respondents can be more efficient by spending time reacting to answers and designing strong questions. The whole process is way more efficient.
Benefit 3: No Geographical Boundary Limitations
Recruiting for online focus groups can be much easier and cost-effective than in-person focus groups. Your online focus group can be made up of participants from various locations. This can be beneficial for hard-to-reach respondents or with niche participants.
In a face to face discussion, you can cram in 10-12 persons or more in one room, and the room gets tight. With online focus groups, you wont have to face these issues. Online zoom videos allow unlimited or a large number of seats for respondents, moderators and client viewers as well. You can have large number of audiences sign-on and watch the group without being feeling crammed or uncomfortable.