Market Research: Quantitative Versus Qualitative and When to Use Each

On average, a loyal customer will be worth 10 times their first purchase. Learning more about your customers can drive this satisfaction and encourage people to return to your brand.

Consumer and market research can provide you with the insight you need to better drive satisfaction. Understanding the different types of research as well as factors that will impact your customers can help you improve your research efforts.

Quantitative vs Qualitative Market Research

Both qualitative and quantitative market research provide valuable insight for brands who want to better understand their customers. Understanding the difference between the two types, however, and the types of insight they offer can help you better organize your customer research.

Qualitative research provides you with a foundation for exploring customer reactions. Typically when you begin with this type of market research, you do not know exactly what to expect as answers to your questions, so you use largely open-ended questions. The results from this research will help you uncover potential problems and solutions. When you want to employ this type of research, you will use strategies such as interviews or focus groups.

Qualitative Research, Market Research

Example of a Quantitative Survey Question

Quantitative research, on the other hand, will help you draw conclusions. You will quantify a problem and get a better idea of how many people have this issue and how they will respond to a certain solution. Surveys and audits, for example, can be excellent means of gathering this information.

Example of a Qualitative Survey Question

Ideally, you will want to use both types of research to give you a more complete picture of your customers. Qualitative research can help you uncover the problems and solutions that you want to measure. Following up with quantitative research will help you understand the pervasiveness of these problems and how potential solutions will impact brand perception and customer success.

Factors to Consider When Analyzing Your Customer Data

As you begin to accumulate data, you will need to carefully consider various factors that could influence your customer’s responses. By taking these factors into account, you will be able to gain a more accurate interpretation of your data, which will help you improve your implementation of solutions.

1. The way you phrase and order questions will impact how customers respond. While it can sound straightforward to create questions in your questionnaire app, you need to consider carefully the words you use. Asking multiple questions within one question, such as “what did you think of our checkout process and shipping?”, might result in inaccurate answers. The order and phrasing of the questions can also lead customers in a particular direction, and accurate responses require as much neutrality as possible.

2. Customers tend to have biases when they self-report. For example, it is common for people to misremember facts pertaining to mundane tasks that they do regularly.

3. Customers can be influenced by factors that have nothing to do with the quality of the product. For example, the appearance and style of a product could cause a negative or positive reaction in customers, thus impacting their satisfaction inadvertently.

4. Customers have explicit and implicit expectations. Their explicit biases refer to their ideas of how the product should perform. The implicit biases refer to how the product performs compared to the rest of the industry.

5. Customers will be influenced based on what they expect in the future. They have ideas about how well this particular product will meet their future needs and be able to evolve with them. They also have expectations regarding how the industry and this brand in particular will change and adapt for the future.

6. Customers also have expectations about how the brand will interact with consumers. Customer service that diverges greatly from these expectations can impact their feelings of satisfaction with the brand, even if the performance of what they purchased did not change.

Customer surveys can be an excellent source of information about what consumers want to see from you. Keeping these factors in mind, however, can help you better understand the data you receive, and thus improve your response.




Meera Tawil

Meera Tawil

Hi! I'm Meera and I am the Marketing Coordinator at QuickTapSurvey.