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Digital CROs: The Benefits for Consumer Brands

At Citruslabs, we have shifted from a patient recruitment service to operating as a digital contract research organization. As co-founder, I’ve been able to witness the ways that our assistance makes research easier and more accessible for brands. For consumer brands in the supplement and skincare industries, conducting research is essential to developing and improving their products.

However, conducting research can be expensive and time-consuming, which is why companies often rely on contract research organizations (CROs) to provide specialized expertise and study services. Digital CROs have emerged as a valuable option for consumer brands, offering cost savings, flexibility, and access to a wide range of expertise. In this blog post, I will discuss how brands benefit from using a Digital CRO.

Cost-Effective Research Solutions

Saving money is one of the most significant advantages of using a Digital CRO. Because they do not necessarily have the same overhead costs as traditional CROs, such as the upkeep costs of a research facility’s rent, utilities, and office equipment, digital CROs can often be much more cost-effective. Because they do not need to employ a large team of on-site researchers, data managers, and study coordinators, digital CROs typically have lower staffing costs. This means that consumer brands can conduct research at a lower cost while maintaining high research quality and efficiency.


Because they are not usually bound by a concrete location, digital CROs can offer greater flexibility in study design and execution. They have remote access to a global network of professionals and can provide study services. This means that consumer brands will be able to design studies that are tailored to their specific needs and will be able to carry out studies more efficiently. Digital CROs, for example, can involve patients from around the country without having to deal with the logistical issues associated with establishing a physical office in that location.

Access to Expertise

Digital CROs can offer access to a wider range of expertise since they can tap into a national network of professionals. They can provide specialized services that may not be available locally, such as formulation development, consumer research, or regulatory procedures. This means that consumer brands can access a higher level of expertise and can conduct studies more efficiently without having to rely exclusively on local resources. Digital CROs can also provide access to specialized patient populations, which can be particularly valuable for supplement studies. For instance, a virtual model allows supplement brands to access those with niche health concerns they may not be able to recruit locally.

Faster Study Start-Up

Digital CROs can often start studies more quickly since they do not have to deal with setting up a physical office in a new location. They can quickly mobilize resources, including personnel, and even send off study materials quickly to quickly establish a study in a new location. This means that consumer brands can start studies more quickly, which is particularly important in the context of fast-moving trends or emerging product categories.

Reduced Administrative Burden

By providing remote monitoring, data management, and regulatory support, digital CROs can help reduce the administrative burden associated with research. This means that consumer brands can concentrate on their core business while the Digital CRO handles the administrative tasks associated with research. Digital CROs can also help study sites and sponsors communicate more effectively, which can help to streamline study operations.

Improved Customer Insights and Communication

Consumer studies carried out by digital CROs can facilitate consumer brands in gaining a better understanding of their customers. These studies can provide important insights into consumer preferences, attitudes, and behaviors, which can then be used to inform product development and marketing strategies. Digital CROs can also provide real-time data access and reporting, which can assist consumer brands in making informed product development and marketing decisions. Working with Digital CROs can also improve communication between study sites and sponsors since they often use virtual platforms to facilitate mutual communication. This means that study teams can collaborate more effectively and can quickly address any issues that arise during the study, for participants and the research team alike. Connecting the Dots

For a deeper understanding of why digital CROs are an optimal choice for your study, I recommend reading our article "Why Choose a Digital CRO for Your Study". This piece provides comprehensive insights into the decision-making process behind selecting a digital CRO.

Wrapping Up

As a Digital CRO, we offer brands innovative, comprehensive clinical trial services that can improve the efficiency and quality of their research experience. The virtual or hybrid clinical research model is growing in popularity, and for good reason, as it allows consumer brands to conduct studies at a lower cost, with increased flexibility and more accessible communication with the research skies. In my time at Citruslabs, I have witnessed the level of support we can offer in comparison to traditional CROs, and I believe we’ll continue to see the virtual trend sweep the clinical research field in the coming years.

Want to create your own clinical trial?

Citruslabs provides a simple and affordable way to prove that your products actually work. At Citruslabs, we design a clinical trial that is right for you and your budget, so you can start sharing research-backed product claims without spending a fortune. We offer the cohesive planning and management required to conduct successful clinical trials, from start to finish. Ready to get started? Let's talk! You can contact us here.

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