Common Types of Market Research Session

Focus Group – A group of specially selected people, often around 8 per group. The focus group method allows members of the group to interact and influence each other during the discussion and consideration of ideas and perspectives.

Workshops – Similar to focus groups but often for a longer duration and/or with more people.

Usability Study – Normally an individual one to one session. Usability testing refers to evaluating a product or service by testing it with representative users. Typically, during a test, participants will try to complete typical tasks while observers watch, listen and takes notes.  The goal is to identify any usability problems, collect qualitative and quantitative data and determine the participant's satisfaction with the product.

In-depth Interview – Normally an individual one to one session, although it’s not uncommon to have paired depths (2 participants) or triads (three participants). Depth interviews are normally carried out face to face so that a rapport can be created with respondents but can often also take place via the telephone or via online video software. In-depth interviews offer the opportunity to capture rich, descriptive data about people’s behaviours, attitudes and perceptions, and unfolding complex processes.

Ethnography - Anthropologists, ethnographers, and other social scientists may engage in something called ethnography. Ethnography, simply stated, is the study of people in their own environment through the use of methods such as participant observation and face-to-face interviewing.

Accompanied shopping session - Accompanied Shopping Trips are a research technique where a moderator shadows a consumer on a shopping journey around store(s). Its main purpose is to provide deep insights on exactly how shoppers go about buying things.

Eye-tracking - Wearable eye tracking devices enables the researcher to understand the entire shopper experience in either a real or simulated store. Eye tracking basically measures what attracts the shopper, where the eye is drawn to and what is ignored. Eye-tracking provides insight into shopper behavior that is extremely valuable in determining how to most successfully position products, signage, marketing, displays, and virtually any other element of the store.

Online studies/panels - typically consist of a group of specifically selected participants joining a closed network of like-minded individuals. During the study participants would take part in a series of online conversations and structured tasks and exercises around a given topic. This may include answering questions, uploading images/videos etc. Online studies generally run for a specific amount of time and participants will usually need to log in daily to complete the tasks for the day.

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