By Tamara Irminger Underwood
In our last blog on online qualitative market research platforms, we highlighted online focus groups; bulletin boards or discussion forums; mobile ethnography and diary platforms; and, insight communities. In this blog, we’ll continue on the theme and discuss: chatbot groups; User testing/UX research; and, syndicated research.
Chatbot Groups (aka real-time chat platforms)
First off, let’s be clear. Chatbot platforms are by no means a replacement of more traditional qualitative market research methodologies. While they are cool, and cutting edge, they are not automated enough to garner deeper insights from participants.
Chatbot, or real-time chat, platforms use chat interfaces to engage study participants in research conversations using AI. Some of the chatbot platforms are designed to look and feel similar to familiar chat apps such as Whatsapp or Facebook Messenger, which makes onboarding straightforward for study participants.
Chatbot groups are a good option when conducting market research with Gen-Z, as it can add another dimension to a more comprehensive market study, but it is not a strong enough option to stand on its own.
User Testing/UX Research
Since the pandemic started online retailers have seen a massive uptick in searches and sales. With so many consumers now in the habit of doing a majority of everyday purchases online, now is the time for companies to focus on their UX and UI design.
Market researchers can design natural testing studies that record participants as they engage with digital platforms. Participants can be pinged with questions or tasks as they engage with an app or website to gain further insights.
We’ve written about the pros and cons of syndicated research in past blogs. Similar to chatbot platforms, syndicated research relies on AI to engage with participants.
Syndicated platforms are great for providing a macro view of a subject matter that can inform a market researcher where to focus the more granular level of a market research study.
There is no doubt that market researchers have many more tools available to conduct qualitative studies. AI-enabled research platforms are great options for researchers to quickly get their ‘finger on the pulse’ of a specific market segment, but they aren’t developed enough to replace the tried-and-true qualitative methodologies of focus groups and in-depth interviews.
Partnering with a nationwide market research firm is a company’s best bet to gain the deepest insights and most valuable feedback for strategic planning and marketing.