Qualitative vs quantitative user research: What’s the difference?

free customer satisfaction survey template

Conducting research and analysis on your target audience can help you make better marketing decisions. 

When did you conduct a survey on your website? When did you last run an A/B campaign?

Having detailed information about your prospective customers can assist you in targeting them better.

Executing qualitative and quantitative research can aid you in getting a clear picture of your target customers. 

In this blog, we will give you information on qualitative and quantitative research and how it can help businesses.

What is qualitative and quantitative research? 

Difference between qualitative and quantitative research

Quantitative research is all about gathering the maximum data possible in measurable and numerical form. 

You can collect quantitative data with the help of Google Analytics and different web analytics tools. The number of visitors and website conversion rate are examples of quantitative data.

Qualitative data is the assemblage of non-numerical insights such as opinions, viewpoints, and motivations. You can gather qualitative data by conducting surveys and taking feedback. 

You can get crucial information from qualitative data like the customers’ pain points, needs, and expectations. 

Nonetheless, some sources of the research can be included in both qualitative and quantitative research

For example, the NPS survey contains both qualitative questions (Why you prefer our product/service over others) and quantitative questions (How would you rate our service on a 0 to 10 scale). 

Qualitative and quantitative data together 

Using qualitative and quantitative research data together can help enterprises to create robust marketing campaigns.

Quantitative data answers the What, whereas qualitative data answers the Why

Let’s take an example:

Google Analytics provides information on how many visitors have visited the website but not why they took that action.
Mailchimp report will give you details like the number of opens and clicks. But it won’t tell you what made the users click.

Without executing qualitative research, you can’t get the answers to your Why? Assumptions and miscomprehensions won’t lead you to the right data-driven decisions.

You need accurate qualitative vs quantitative data to optimize your marketing efforts and get the best results. 

Why qualitative vs quantitative research is important?

Implementing research strategy is crucial for taking result-driven business actions. It can assist you in making the major decisions for UX, ad copy choices, and campaigns. 

We have mentioned below why both qualitative and quantitative research is essential:

1. Conversion rate optimization 

qualitative vs quantitative

Conversion optimization is not just about changing the position of CTA or making slight website changes. That’s not how it works.

Conversion optimization is based on thorough market research and what customers want or need, how they perceive your product/service, and their site experience.

Getting answers to these questions will help you get an idea of what can work the best. Making informed decisions and changes will aid you in increasing your conversion rates. 

2. Website Redesigning 

Redesigning a website is a crucial marketing procedure. However, making small design changes is easy than a major website redesign. 

Carrying out small design changes is called radical, whereas making major website changes is called iterative redesign.  

Most marketers recommend that undertaking an iterative redesign is more effective than a radical redesign. This way, you won’t spend thousands of bucks on a website that’s already not delivering results.

We have mentioned below some of the best conditions in which you should execute a complete website redesign:

  • Launching a major product or service
  • Changing the brand logo
  • Not getting enough traffic

Qualitative and quantitative research can assist you in making the right site design changes as per your users’ preferences. 

3. Several other factors 

In-depth market research can aid you in the website redesigning and conversion rate optimization. You can know the customers’ needs and wants, which can also help you segment them accordingly. 

You can gather accurate customer insights such as what people like about your product/ service, what blog topics are trending, which google ads are getting clicks, etc.

Now, we will discuss the different methods by which you can collect qualitative vs quantitative data.

4. Quantitative methods of research 

In this section, we will tell you how you can gather quantitative data for research and analysis.

Methodology 1: Technical Evaluation 

As a marketer, it’s very important to carry out the technical analysis of the website. The technical analysis of the site can help you know the backend issues that are impacting your user experience.

For instance, with technical analysis, you can discover the pages that are slow because of the large image sizes or videos. 

There are various free tools that you can use for technical evaluation, such as Google Analytics or Google PageSpeed Insights, etc. 

By undertaking technical analysis, you can know different factors, such as pages with more load time, devices with high bounce rates, and pages with low conversion rates.

qualitative vs quantitative research

Methodology 2: Digital Analytics 

Digital analytics is about identifying the important elements of the website and ignoring the ones that don’t matter. 

For digital analytics, you can use tools like Google Analytics, WebMaxy, etc. However, make sure that your tracking code is set up correctly on every page. You can analyze complete and accurate data easily with WebMaxy. 

But first, you should decide what users’ action is important to you.  For example, is it filling up the form, making a purchase, etc. 

You can unveil various impacting factors such as a navigation bar or click button that gets you many leads. Then, you can consider adding it to other site pages as well. You can find out the reason that makes your users drop down from the cart. 

Digital analytics can help you give an idea of what people do on your site compared to what you want them to do.

Methodology 3: Click maps & Session Replays 

qualitative and quantitative research

Click maps can aid you in knowing where your website visitors are clicking and tapping on the website. The red or the brighter part shows the area where users have interacted a lot, and the blue area represents the area least interacted with. 

There are different types of heatmaps, such as:

Click maps exhibit the areas clicked or tapped by the users. 
Scroll maps indicate how far the visitors have scrolled down on the page. 

Another WebMaxy feature that can help you understand your customers better is session replays. WebMaxy session replay can show you how your users behave with your website in real time. 

difference between qualitative and quantitative

This data evaluation can aid you in knowing the following:

  • Discover the confusing design components of the website that users might be thinking of as links. This way, you can add the link or click the button where the users are expecting.
  • Know till where the users are scrolling down the page. If they are reaching to the important information or not that you want them to see. 

Methodology 4: User testing

By allowing your customers to give feedback about your website can help you gather qualitative and quantitative research data.

In user testing, you have to give your users’ a task and record their screen time and exposition as they complete it. 

Examples of different types of tasks that you can give your users are as follows:

  • Broad: ‘Finding a tennis ball.’
  • Specific: ‘Finding the smallest tennis ball on the screen.’
  • Funnel completion: ‘Finding the smallest tennis ball and completing the purchase.’

Quantitative data is the amount of time that a user takes to complete the defined task. For instance, you can use it to know your checkout process time. 

You can compare your old checkout process time to the new version that you are thinking of installing.

If the user testing infers that your checkout time has reduced compared to the older version, that means you’ve improved. If the ‘intuitive’ design doesn’t show significant success, then you can fix it again.

User testing is beneficial as you can comprehend your mistakes before your site is up and live. 

5. Qualitative methods of research

Qualitative research is pricey compared to quantitative research. However, it can give vital customer information, such as how they think and what they want, which you won’t get with quantitative data.  

Below, we have given three qualitative research methods that you can utilize.

Methodology 1: Heuristic Analysis 

To provide the best user experiences, you can’t rely only on opinions or viewpoints, you have to be practical. However, the expert opinion still has some value and can make a difference. 

Heuristic analysis is a pre-defined experience-based assessment of a website run by an expert. It is an analytical framework that examines the website on different levels, such as:

Relevant: Is the webpage content relevant and meeting user expectations?
Precision and clarity: Is the content precise and defines clearly what needs to be explained? 
Value: Is the page providing value to the users? 
Resistance: What on the webpage is causing resistance or hesitation from the users to take action?
Distraction: Are any elements on the webpage distracting the users from taking action?

Finding the answers to these questions can help marketers to plan and implement website changes accordingly. 

Methodology 2: User testing

customer satisfaction survey

User testing can help in the qualitative analysis in the following ways:

  • You can directly know what users think as they move through your website. You can make changes by knowing how your users think or feel about the website. Users’ opinions can help you alter the design elements and evaluate what can be improved. 
  • Give a post-task survey to your user testing subjects’. Post-task surveys can aid you in gathering insightful data that you can put together with their viewpoints. 

Methodology 3: Online surveys or feedback 

Surveys are a great source for collecting accurate and direct data from customers. They can help you reveal information that you wouldn’t have known otherwise. 

You can take different types of surveys, such as,

  • On-page surveys – These surveys are basically made for the different pages of the website. For instance, you can ask a blog viewer which topic they would like to learn more about.
  • Exit surveys -You can present this type of survey to your visitors when they are about to leave your website.

Surveys can help you collect the majority of your qualitative research data. For more in-depth qualitative data, you can perform customer interviews or send out a survey via email. 

To get qualitative data from surveys, do the following:

  • Open-ended questions: Try to include open-ended questions in surveys as they give you more detailed information than the multiple-choice questions. You’ll get to know your customers’ exact thoughts and opinions in their words.
  • Avoid misleading questions: Make it easy for your customers to answer. You don’t want your customers to exit from the first question of the survey. Therefore, make sure that your question also guides them to an answer. For instance, you can ask, ‘How easy was it to find a product you were looking for?’ This way, they are directed toward answering how easy or difficult it was to execute that action.
  • Analyze your responses properly: To analyze your answers, you can code them manually. Coding is a manual process in which the answers are grouped, and patterns are identified by aligning them with data points. 

WebMaxy Analyzer can help you conduct different types of customer surveys. It has many pre-designed templates with well-researched questions that you can utilize directly. 

customer satisfaction survey questions

Surveys can help you unveil deep and accurate customer insights. These actionable insights can aid you in improving your overall customer experience.

How can you conduct user research?

customer satisfaction survey template free

Conducting qualitative vs quantitative research can help businesses better understand their customers and improve conversion rates. By knowing your users’ needs, wants, and pain points, you can provide them with awesome experiences. 

WebMaxy Analyzer is a user behavior analytic tool that provides an in-depth analysis of website visitors. You can gather a lot of qualitative and quantitative research data with it.

This tool comes with various functionalities such as session replays, heatmaps, form analysis, surveys & polls, funnel view, and user insights.

Schedule a call with our experts to know more information about the WebMaxy Analyzer, or email us at sales@webmaxy.com

WebMaxy helps brands discover user experience with a set of tools like heatmap, visitor analytics, web survey and many more. Sign up with email. Free trials forever.

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