Focus groups typically are conducted face-to-face, but the development of technology has enabled qualitative research to reach online methods. There are two types of online methods synchronous and asynchronous. Synchronous techniques allow for researchers to conduct live chats which try to mimic in-person interviews
Asynchronous techniques collect participant information through online communication such as forums and email subscribers. Hurdles within asynchronous online focus groups include irregular participation over time and a potential timely study. Within synchronous online focus groups, tests include timing not working for members and lack of receptiveness Online focus group benefits include no transport necessary and ease of access, while online focus group difficulties include lack of technology and minimal technological skill.
Advantages to online focus groups provide those to a participant who is geographically far from each another and increase participation by engaging with those who are more satisfied with internet use. Disadvantages of online focus groups include losing associated non-verbal behavior which could factor into imposing qualitative research.