There are a lot of benefits for researchers who use online focus groups. First, it allows for a more diverse range of participants, as geography is not an issue. This is particularly useful if the researcher intends to get input from people all around a state, country, or even across multiple countries.
Also, for a company, this can cut down on costs for holding a group substantially. Many times market research companies pay to travel to a location, to book a room to hold the focus group, for food for the group, and for other associated travel costs. Those are eliminated when a group is held online.
Virtual groups can also help with analyzing the group as well. For example, you can record the group and watch it back later, and it’s helpful for transcriptionists identifying speakers. Another advantage is this medium usually helps cuts down on crosstalk (multiple people speaking at once) and side conversations, as participants aren’t in the same room.