Qualitative Research and Quantitative Research

When organizations carry out strategic planning, they conduct different types of research and analysis. During research, the gathered data is used for analyzing various phenomena. The study helps to make informed strategic decisions. Qualitative and Quantitative research is what will be addressed in this blog.

Let’s say there is a supermarket in town. There is a decline in the number of customers shopping at the supermarket, and the sales are decreasing. The owner would like to know why the store isn’t attracting customers. This could help him make informed decisions about what to do to get the customers coming. So, he decides to do some research – fundamentally to understand what the customers want.

Here’s introducing Qualitative Research.

The owner could invite a group of customers and discuss their experiences. This can provide insights into what they like and don’t like about the supermarket.

Instead of a group, a one-on-one interview with random customers could also be conducted to get in-depth information.

Also, observing the customer behavior in the supermarket – body language and actions can speak of things that cause satisfaction or dissatisfaction.

In qualitative research, the respondents can express in their own words to open-ended questions like ‘what’, ‘how’, ’when’ and so on.

It helps uncover customer preferences, motivations, and thoughts.

However, this information is subjective to only some customers and not the entire customer base.


Here’s how it would work with Quantitative Research.

The supermarket could ask its customers to rate its services as either Excellent, Very Good, Good, Average or Poor – on a feedback device during the checkout process.

They could as an experiment, launch attractive offers and discounts and measure the sales after that.

Analytics can be leveraged to study the purchasing pattern.


In quantitative research, the data can be measured or quantified.

If the approach is in the form of a questionnaire, the respondents can choose predefined answers from the available options.

Since every customer is asked the same set of questions, the information gathered is objective and is representative of the customer base.

However, it doesn’t uncover in-depth thoughts of the customer, and at times it could be a relatively costly approach to implement.


As a business/ researcher, you may at times have to choose between Qualitative and Quantitative research. It depends on what type of information is essential to make decisions upon.

Do you need high volumes of representative and measurable data (Quantitative), or do you need detailed and in-depth information from some customers (Qualitative)?

You should also consider the available resources concerning time, money and the skills required.

If the situation favors time, money and skills, then a combination of both Qualitative and Quantitative research would be an ideal approach.


Comments are closed.