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The Benefits and Disadvantages of Online Focus Groups

The benefits of online focus groups outweigh their disadvantages. Among them, this method allows you to gather nationwide or global insights. It also provides anonymity and is flexible and inexpensive. And, as the name suggests, it is available around the world. Moreover, it allows you to interview more than one person without leaving the comfort of your home.

The advantages of online groups were the lower costs and convenience of participating at one’s own pace. In addition, the online synchronous nature of online groups was perceived to be more suited for sensitive topics such as political opinions. But is it really a good choice for everyone? Read on to learn more about these topics and decide for yourself if an online video group is right for you.

Online Focus Group

Online Focus Group


One of the primary reasons online focus groups are beneficial to research is their anonymity. Anonymity in online focus groups is essential for collecting data on the opinions and feelings of participants. Without anonymity, these groups may not provide the highest level of insight. While many researchers recommend recruiting more participants than you need for the study, they have experienced last-minute cancellations. Furthermore, many researchers claim that online focus groups tend to have fewer participants because they are less likely to stick to commitments.


One of the most attractive benefits of online focus groups is their flexibility. You can conduct them from anywhere at any time of the day. And you can monitor them continuously. You can also choose the type of participants you want to participate in your focus group. In addition to offering more convenience, online focus groups can help you get a more representative population sample. Here are some reasons why online focus groups are more flexible than traditional ones.


The cost of an online focus group can be split into three categories: recruiting respondents, facility fees, and moderator fees. Respondent incentives typically range from £100 to £300. Physicians, lawyers, and other research subjects with more extended time commitments are often given higher incentives. Room rentals can cost anywhere from £450 to 3600 per group. Rates are generally higher in the U.S. than in the UK. If the research is specialised, it may also require a custom room.

Another cost difference is no travel or facility fee. An online group can be more convenient because participants can participate from anywhere in the world. In addition, online focus groups are faster and cheaper than in-person focus groups, so they’re a great option if time is of the essence. They are also an excellent option if you’re recruiting executives or other professionals who are hard to reach.

Moderator options

One of the advantages of online focus groups is their lower costs, which can be anywhere from ten to twenty percent less than traditional focus groups. You also won’t have to pay for venue fees, refreshments, or printing materials, and you won’t have to deal with the social distance that often comes with a traditional focus group. Online focus groups are also more convenient and comfortable for participants. The same participants may be participating in the same study six months later.

Need for a kick-off meeting

Online video focus groups require a project kick-off meeting. This meeting will discuss details about the project and key figures and set the tone for the team’s work. It’s also an opportunity to clarify any questions and ensure everyone is on the same page. If possible, schedule the kick-off meeting before the start of the focus group. To avoid any potential misunderstandings, ensure that everyone in attendance has been sent a reminder email.

Hardware Requirements

Focus groups are an essential part of qualitative research and are often conducted using diverse participants. The online format is handy when responding to surveys. These focus groups also allow for geographic diversity and can be conducted through many methods, such as video calls, web chats, and mobile-based chats. As with in-person groups, the effectiveness of online groups depends on the technology used to conduct the study. Participants’ internet connection and suitable earphones are two key requirements.

Hiring a moderator

There are several reasons for hiring a professional focus group moderator. Among them is that it can increase the credibility of your focus group. It also helps you conduct research without expecting a specific answer from your participants. Companies hire moderators to test new products and services objectively. Choosing the right person for the job will help ensure that your focus group is a success. Here are some tips for selecting the right moderator.

– Know the flow of your focus group. A focus group lifecycle typically follows a four-step flow. First, the moderator explains the rules and procedures of the online focus group. Afterwards, the moderator asks each participant to introduce themselves. Ask them fun questions to build rapport with them. You can also prepare questions to ask the participants on the spot. The moderator will then ask the participants to answer the questions in the order you listed them.

Experienced moderators have a thorough understanding of qualitative research. They know how to write clear reports highlighting the most important findings and insights. Additionally, they understand how to set up a rapport with respondents and conduct directed discussions. An experienced moderator will be more probing and probing essential responses in the focus group. This adds credibility to your report. It is necessary to hire a professional moderator if you want your focus group to succeed.

View information on the Vocal Views online video focus group platform here.