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FC Live

How FC Live Garners More Valuable Qualitative Insights While Cutting Costs 

A national retail company specializing in beauty, cosmetics and fragrances utilized FC Live, Fuel Cycle’s virtual focus group tool, to gather comprehensive qualitative research virtually, significantly reducing time and costs associated with in-person focus groups and yielding more valuable results.


In the fast-paced world of retail, understanding consumer behaviors and purchase patterns is the cornerstone of success. For the Insights team at a leading American retail company, this task became a pivotal challenge to meet the needs of stakeholders. This case study discusses how the retail company utilized FC Live by Fuel Cycle to get richer, more comprehensive customer insights while spending less. 

The Problem

Outdated methods kept this American retail company from its full potential when it came to customer understanding and fulfilling stakeholder requests.
The Insights team of a large American retail company was tasked by its internal merchant team with exploratory work that required them to tap into its customer base for qualitative feedback. The primary objective revolved around comprehending consumer behaviors and purchase patterns. However, they found that their current methods proved either prohibitively expensive or insufficient in providing the depth of insights essential to fulfill stakeholder expectations. This included in-person focus groups, which came with high travel costs and limited the audience geographically, and traditional survey tools, which were not granular enough. 

The Solution

Fuel Cycle recommended using FC Live to access a large, diverse group of participants while reducing project costs and time.

After discussing the exploratory projects and needs with their Fuel Cycle support team, it was recommended to use FC Live, Fuel Cycle’s tool for video focus groups and user interviews. This would allow them to gather comprehensive qualitative research virtually. Not only would FC Live enable the retail company to tap into its existing audience from its Fuel Cycle Community, but also expand activities to a large, diverse pool of customers that were not bound by geographic restraints. FC Live would be much more cost-effective compared to in-person focus groups, which required heavy travel and logistical expenses.    

Key highlights of FC Live that resonated with the retail company included:  

  • Seamless participant management: FC Live offers the convenience of effortlessly adding or removing participants from sessions as needed.   
  • Leveraging existing community: FC Live allowed the retail company to engage customers from its established FC community, streamlining participation.  
  • Dual-moderation: FC Live’s dual-moderation feature enables one moderator to steer the conversation while another manages technical aspects ensuring smooth proceedings.  
  • Dedicated tech support: With its integrated tech support, potential audio or connectivity issues faced by participants will be addressed without burdening the retail company’s moderators. This ensures that the focus remained on the session’s essence. 
  • Observational “backroom” functionality: Similar to an in-person focus group setup, FC Live provides a “backroom” feature, enabling merchants to discreetly observe sessions while staying hidden from participants.  
  • User-friendly interaction tools: FC Live offers user-friendly whiteboarding and polling functionalities, enhancing interactive capabilities during sessions.  

The Results

Left column: FC Live brought valuable insights that the company could immediately act on. Positive feedback was received from key stakeholders about the entire process and results.
The retail company expressed genuine satisfaction with FC Live’s capabilities and declared that the tool was much more in depth and convenient than using platforms like Teams or Zoom to host qualitative research activities. The team felt that FC Live was “something [they] had been looking for” and really helped “move the needle forward” in their exploratory projects.   

FC Live’s ability to expedite insights was key as it enabled the retail company to instantly process the insights from the live interviews right after they were completed and use that data in reports. The entire process, from conducting an FC Live session to reporting the findings to stakeholders, transpired within an impressively short span of under a week. 

The team also got feedback from customers who participated in the FC Live activities that underscored the professionalism and smoothness of the process. The merchants echoed these statements and attested that FC Live replicated the engaging dynamics of an in-person focus group very well.   

The positive feedback and exceptional quality of insights acquired has led the retail company to anticipate a prolific integration of FC Live into their future endeavors. It’s clear that FC Live’s effectiveness has positioned it as a cornerstone of the retail company’s upcoming projects. 

The Fuel Cycle Difference

Fuel Cycle’s award-winning Research Engine is the most comprehensive intelligence-gathering ecosystem that exists today. Our platform enables decision-makers to maintain constant connections with their customers, prospects, and users to uncover real-world actionable intelligence. By integrating human insight with critical business data, and through automated quantitative and qualitative research solutions, Fuel Cycle’s Research Engine powers product innovation, brand intelligence, and enhanced user experience.

Breakthroughs require action. We built Fuel Cycle to ignite it.