Difference Between Qualitative and Quantitative Market Research

Market Research

Do you know why Ather ended up closing its battery subscription model?

Ather, an Indian Scooter Manufacturer Company, wanted to lower its prices with the help of this subscription model. Still, it eventually failed with this model, as Ather’s CEO disclosed on Nikhil Kamath’s YouTube podcast.

When Ather researched the failure, they learned about the Indians’ behavior regarding their vehicle. Indians don’t want to feel that they aren’t the owner of their vehicle.

Such behaviors are very important to study, and market research tools do exactly this. It lets you learn about the reasons, probability, and other factors influencing any business topic. For example, will this product work, or why didn’t it work?

However, to answer these two questions, there are two types of research: Qualitative and Quantitative. In today’s blog, we will know the definition and difference between these two types of market research.

What Is Qualitative Market Research?

Simply put, it is the tool to assess why’s and how’s. QMR is used when you go deeper into the research topic and don’t just consider numbers but the reasons behind what’s going on. In the business world, it helps to understand the behavior of consumers. That’s why the research element used in qualitative research mostly includes open-ended questions to assess the details of the topic. For example, personal interviews, focus groups, and observations are the ways to do qualitative market research.

Example of Quantitative Market Research

Let’s understand qualitative research with an example. There’s a company whose primary audience has to be rich people who want to carry fast fashion but from a premium brand. So, the company has done everything from logo design to creating content according to its brand tone and manufacturing some SKUs.

However, the company wants to know if the brand that they have built aligns with their perspective. So, if someone looks at the brand, they must perceive it as a luxury brand selling fast fashion outfits.

To know if they are going the right way in positioning their brand, the company decides to opt for Focus Group Discussions (FGDs), a qualitative MR approach. In the research, a few FGDs were set up offline, where 10-12 people discussed their thoughts about the brand and gave suggestions.

At the end of the discussion, the company learned that most people looked at their brand as what they wanted it to be. However, the suggestion was to change the logo’s colors to pastel shades to match it with a luxury brand.

What Is Quantitative Research?

As your focus changes to numbers, your research becomes quantitative. As its name refers, it focuses on quantity, meaning it quantifies the research based on inputs. So, this research is used when there is a need to measure something instead of knowing how and why behind it. It includes tools and techniques to analyze the samples that are brought in.

Moreover, it’s important to know structured data is important in quantitative MR. The results derived from this research are mostly based on patterns seen in the large sample size taken for the research. Moreover, since the result is statistical, any reason behind the outcome can’t be concluded without adding qualitative research.

Example of Quantitative Market Research

Let’s say a company wants to know how satisfied their customer is with a feature they have introduced in their app. As they launch the feature, they wait for a week so that the users can explore and experience the feature.

After one week, the company rolled out a survey that included a question about the new feature, and customers had to answer the survey by choosing a rating from 0-10 based on their satisfaction with the new feature.

So, the company got a rating of 3-8, signifying that the feature satisfies the customers. But if you look at the nature of the data, you will realize that you don’t know the exact reason behind this low rating. So, it’s important to launch a qualitative survey to complete the answer to why people mostly rated the feature 3-8.

Qualitative Market Research Vs Quantitative Market Research

Factors Qualitative MR Quantitative MR
Data Type It focuses on capturing descriptive, non-numerical data, often through open-ended questions, observations, and interviews. It deals with numerical data. Hence, it allows for statistical analysis and quantification of responses obtained through surveys.


Sample Size QMR typically involves smaller, targeted samples. Larger and more representative samples are used in quantitative research.



Purpose It seeks to understand the “why” and “how” behind consumer behaviors, exploring motivations, perceptions, and emotions. It focuses on measuring trends, preferences, and behaviors using standardized measures.
Strengths Offers in-depth insights and facilitates the identification of problems and opportunities. It provides rich, context-specific data that can inform strategic decision-making and product development. It provides statistical validity and allows for the identification of trends going on in industries and among people. It enables researchers to quantify relationships and make data-driven predictions.
Weakness It may lack generalizability due to the small, non-representative sample sizes. While it offers depth, it may not capture the full diversity of perspectives within a larger population. It may overlook the underlying reasons or motivations behind behaviors, focusing solely on numerical trends. It may fail to capture the intricacies of human experiences and emotions.

Key Takeaways

  • Market research is an important tool for researching the market’s behavior, patterns, and trends.
  • There are two types: Quantitative and qualitative.
  • Qualitative research is when you focus on answering why and how.
  • QMR is when you try to make conclusions based on statistical analysis.

In totality, both research studies are important and have their significance. Moreover, these two types of research methods also complement each other. If you also want to unlock the power of research for your business, you can do it with QDegrees’ Market Research service. They provide one of the best research services with multiple ways to do it, like FGDs, Interviews, etc.

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