Everything in the world has taken another direction as companies migrate to the virtual world. One of the things that have changed as a result of the internet is how we conduct surveys. Previously, market studies were costly and time-consuming activities, but the use of online platforms has made them cheaper and faster. This article is about the reasons why this new method of conducting surveys is becoming more popular around the world.
Shifting from paperwork to online studies will bring down the cost of conducting market research. The other methods of conducting research such as telephone and in-person can consume much of your money, especially if you are interviewing a large group of people.
Online surveys will only require a software account, and the invitations will be sent to the group you need over the internet. Other platforms include survey pop-ups and affiliations with certain sites that have respondents. This method eliminates the cost of purchasing materials, mailing the questionnaires, and the cost of hiring interviewers to conduct phone interviews and in-person studies.
When it comes to speed, online studies are faster to conduct that all the other forms of surveys. The interviewer only needs to create a survey and send the link to the participants. Moving online will, therefore, eliminate the time required to hire and train interviewers as well as gathering the resources needed. The participants will give their responses online, and the information is stored in a database.
Some of the software will also make analysis easier through data cleaning. For example, you can choose to discard the answers that don’t provide relevant information like I’m not sure, and I don’t know. Having more organized data helps in faster data analysis and reduces the chances of inaccurate results. Online studies will, therefore, reduce your research time and ensure that you get more valuable information.
3. Additional Features
Unlike the traditional one-on-one interviews and over the phone interviews, online surveys have additional programming logic like branching, skipping, piping, and extraction. These features will help you eliminate skip errors by the interviewer, as they are designed to follow any line of responses. Branching logic, on the other hand, helps to avoid irrelevant questions that don’t add value to the intended purpose of the interview.
For example, a questionnaire about the foods you take would have a list of foods to select, with each having specific questions such as frequency and amounts. Online surveys will are programmed to skip the questions related to the foods you did not select, but the self-administered methods will require the researcher to include write-ups to guide the respondent on which questions to skip.
4. Enables the integration of sounds, videos, links, and images
The ability to incorporate links to external resources and providing audio and visual aids when needed is one of the greatest advantages of online surveys. The videos and audios make the study more exciting and also give the respondents the resources they need to provide accurate information.
For example, Prize Rebel is a leading online company who want their respondents to comment about the design of a product, you can provide an image or a short video about the product and ask the respondent to view the video before they submit their views. You can read more about Prize Rebel here.
Another example is in the gaming industry, where you can provide a link to a game and asking the respondent to play the game before they fill out the questions. All these features options are not possible when using the other surveying methods, meaning you only have to engage respondents who have past experiences with the product.
5. Reduced Bias
One major challenge with the other methods is that the tone and appearance of the interviewers can affect how the respondents answer the questions. The use of online surveys eliminates bias challenge because questionnaires are issued similarly to all the respondents.
There are also no interviewers or any other factor that can contribute to the respondent providing only the socially acceptable answers instead of the correct answers. Respondents in online surveys feel that the information they give is confidential and that they are not being judged since the study happens over the internet without someone watching.
Online surveys can give you diversity than any other survey type given that the internet has people from all walks of life and from all over the world. You will get views about your product from different cultural, political, and age brackets, a privilege that you may not achieve using one-on-one interviews. For international products, companies don’t have to open a local branch or office to get feedback about the product from the locals as they can get comments and feedback from international consumers through their websites.
7. Easier to Compile Data
Online tests have made it easier to gather data and also to compile the data from the information given by the respondents. Unlike the other methods where you have to deal with a lot of paperwork, feedback from the online questionnaire is directly stored in a database.
The organized data in the database is easier to analyze as you can subdivide it into sections according to what you want to know at the moment. You can also start conducting the analysis soon after receiving the feedback, which is better than when you have to wait for the sorting of the received feedback into categories such as respondents’ age and gender.
The convenience and low cost of online surveys make it a popular option among marketers. Unlike the past, when you had to visit respondents personally or call them, interviewers can get feedback from all over the world within minutes. Nowadays most people own computers and smartphones and have access to the internet.
Everything is moving online, and these studies should be of the forefront. If you have never considered using online surveys, I hope that you enjoyed the article and that the above reasons should push you to try. Feel free to leave a comment or question in the comments section.