Qualitative research is defined as a market research method that focuses on obtaining data through open-ended and conversational communication.
This method is not only about “what” people think but also “why” they think so. For example, consider a convenience store looking to improve its patronage. A systematic observation concludes that the number of men visiting this store are more. One good method to determine why women were not visiting the store is to conduct an in-depth interview of potential customers in the category.
On successfully interviewing female customers, visiting the nearby stores and malls, and selecting them through random sampling, it was known that the store doesn’t have enough items for women and so there were fewer women visiting the store, which was understood only by personally interacting with them and understanding why they didn’t visit the store, because there were more male products than female ones.
Therefore, the qualitative research methods allow for in-depth and further probing and questioning of respondents based on their responses, where the interviewer/researcher also tries to understand their motivation and feelings. Understanding how your audience takes decision can help derive conclusion in market research.