What Defines Today’s Online Research Platforms?

Louise Principe
Feb 24, 2023

studying buyer journey using online research platforms 

Qualitative market research has come a long way from door-to-door surveys and phone interviews. With new technologies being developed each day, online research tools have become smarter and more efficient than ever before. 

With the capacity to study thousands of people from different locations at once, along with agile segmentation and data analysis, today’s platforms help you access valuable insights into your target market – all from the comfort of your office.

In this article, we’ll explore the different facets of today’s online research platforms. 


The Shift to Online Qualitative Research


Qualitative platforms have been slowly transitioning to the virtual space in the past few years. However, the onset of the pandemic caused industries to rapidly shift their operations online to accommodate the unique challenges posed by the public health crisis.

With face-to-face interviews and focus groups no longer possible, broadband-enabled data collection methods were used to conduct market research. Market research platforms offering solutions such as mobile surveys, web-based focus groups, and digital communities helped researchers continue to gather insights in a safe and cost-effective way – minimizing the pandemic’s overall impact on the research landscape.

Today, online research platforms have become a staple in market research. They provide you with live and asynchronous ways to interact with your audience. Furthermore, these platforms leverage technology to streamline your workflow from recruitment and facilitation to analysis and reporting.


Characteristics of Online Research Platforms 




With the dynamic nature of consumer needs, it’s becoming increasingly difficult to understand the modern marketplace using only single-method approaches. This paved the way for today’s platforms to offer a complete arsenal of market research tools for a multimodal study. 

Multimodal refers to using two or more research methods to gather comprehensive data on a topic. For instance, you can use a digital ethnography (DE) app to determine participants’ product preferences in a shop-along and a webcam focus group to get in-depth insights afterward. 

Modern multimodal platforms give you a 360° view of the consumer landscape. 




Online qualitative research has enabled the voice of the customer (VoC) to inform decision-making in a company. However, this only applies if your customer’s voice is widely accessible to people within an organization.

Using solutions that bring your data to life, such as video clipping and storyboarding, gives stakeholders direct access to their customer’s voices. This helps uncover key themes in your study, validate hypotheses, and break down data silos. 

By democratizing insights through digital research platforms, organizations can improve collaboration, foster innovation, and drive business growth.




Online research platforms simplify research processes by providing automation capabilities. Data collection, analysis, and storage can be done quickly without inputting individual data points manually. This can save you time and increase overall efficiency. 

One of the latest research technology trends is AI or artificial intelligence. Many online solutions now offer AI-powered analytics to provide faster, more reliable results. These tools can help you identify trends and patterns in data that would otherwise be difficult to spot.


connecting data points in online platform




Digital research platforms remove barriers to access, such as time and geography, that could negatively affect respondent attendance rates. Conducting studies in a virtual setting lets you reach your target audience at a convenient time and place. With no need for physical presence, you can easily connect with participants from anywhere in the world. 

Another testament to modern platforms’ flexibility is their ability to gather instantaneous reactions. Online service providers deliver new ways for agencies and clients to work together by tapping into a database of participants and a range of tools to connect with them. 

This is particularly useful if your study raises new questions or a review of the initial product concept causes you to collect additional participant feedback. 




Security is a critical component of modern market research platforms. Since these platforms handle large volumes of sensitive data, this can include personal information, confidential business data, and intellectual property. 

As such, adopting the proper security measures is essential to protect information from cyber threats and unauthorized access.

Most online research platforms offer secure data storage and sharing features to keep participants’ sensitive information safe. Nowadays, data is protected through authorization protocols such as SSL encryption, firewalls, and two-factor authentication. 




Adopting a customer experience mindset is pivotal to a company’s success. Studies have shown that customer-centric organizations can drive profitability by more than 60%.

Online qualitative platforms give you access to a wider range of participants and research tools. By leveraging these platforms, you can gather in-depth insights from a large and diverse pool of participants.

Newer online qualitative research models bridge the gap between a brand and its customers, unlocking further empathy for their insights. As a result, businesses can develop products and services tailored to their customers’ needs – improving customer satisfaction and business performance. 


Gain Valuable Qualitative Insight with Civicom®

Civicom® Marketing Research Services is a global leader in providing restech solutions for your project success. Our services include online IDI and focus group facilitation, mobile ethnography, online communities, respondent recruitment, plus other tools that cater to your research needs. Contact us today to see how we can help you.




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