Qualitative research methods provides the answers to how or why. These methods are ideal when there is no fixed set of questions, but when a discussion is more effective to explore issues. Qualitative research discussions are determined by the respondent's opinions and feelings. Largely, qualitative research is done face to face, most commonly in focus groups of 6-8 respondents.
Quantitative research focuses more on the ability to complete statistical analysis. With quantitative studies, each respondent is asked to respond to the same questions:
Example Survey Questions
Surveys and questionnaires are the most common technique for collecting quantitative data. With online survey tools becoming more available with advanced features, more researchers are adopting web based survey collection for quantitative research.
As you might imagine, quantitative research can often be cheaper than qualitative research - but cheaper may not always save you in the long run. It's important to always consider the market research goals when determining your collection method. For example, if you need to understand how respondents brush their teeth to improve the design of a toothbrush, choosing quantitative research method is probably not the way to go.