Surveys are one of the methods through which businesses receive feedback from their target market. Online surveys are conducted via emails and on social media sites. This article looks at eight key advantages that your business stands to get for using online surveys.
Online Surveys are Cheap
Online questionnaires do not require postage or delivery to the respondents. You also do not need respondents to assemble as in the case of focus group surveys. This saves money that may have been used for postage, calls or facilitating transport.
Besides, the use of online forms means that the company will not have to hire teams to feed the information into a database. Once the respondent has completed the survey, the information is fed directly into the database and the data is processed automatically. This makes it an ideal method for companies that are running at shoestring budgets, as they can reach large numbers of respondents at a relatively low cost.
Sites like Harris Poll are a great example of this. See here for more information.
They are Faster than Other Methods
The use of online surveys allows the business to complete the survey project with a significantly shorter period than when using traditional survey methods. There is no time lost sending letters or reaching out to potential respondents for interviews. The information is then gathered to a central database automatically. This is in contrast to cases where questionnaires have to be posted back to the business or call recorded. A good number of respondents actually respond to questions within three days of receiving an email.
Besides, the information that is collected is easier and faster to analyse. The marketing team can view results in real-time as respondents complete the questionnaires. Analysis results can also be presented in various forms that include charts, graphs and tables without the manual input of the marketers.
There is a Small Margin of Error
In traditional research methods, the business hires individuals to feed the responses to the survey into the database. There is a likelihood that the staff may make mistakes when feeding the information into the system. Even in cases where the staff is attentive, there is a likelihood that there will be a few errors.
Errors can lead to results that are quite different from the conditions on the ground. In turn, the marketing team can make wrong inferences and wrong marketing decisions. On the other hand, respondents in an online survey enter responses into the database. Therefore, there is no editing or manual transfer of data. The result is an accurate representation of what the respondents actually said in the survey.
Online Surveys are Easy to Use
Most people are more likely to respond to an online questionnaire as compared to a telephone survey or paper questionnaire. With online surveys, respondents have the freedom to choose the most appropriate moment to respond to questions. This is not the case with telephone or focus group surveys.
Secondly, they can respond to questions on the go on their mobile devices or laptops. While papers can be carried around, they do not offer this kind of convenience and are sometimes cumbersome to use in such scenarios like when on a train going back home from work. Besides, the use of the logic feature helps the participant to filter out questions that do not apply to him or her and answer the relevant areas. In the case of paper surveys, one has to go through all the questions physically to determine which ones are relevant.
Easy to Manipulate and Analyse
The data collected by the researchers can be manipulated in any way to bring as many results and trends as possible. It can be moved to specialised statistical software or spreadsheets, depending on the type of analysis and results that are being sought.
Most databases can be manipulated by various software platforms for an in-depth analysis of the information contained therein. The flexibility of the data makes it easy for research teams to get as much information as they can from one set of data. In contrast, there is a process of converting the data into one or various when using traditional research methods.
Increased Reach and Scalability
One of the major advantages of online surveys is the ability to reach many respondents at once. The market research team only needs to have their addresses or their social media profile to send links or online forms. This allows researchers to reach thousands of respondents at once.
Should there be a need to increase the number of respondents, the researchers would just need to send more invites to their target audience at no extra cost. For the case of international companies or businesses targeting audience from various ethnic backgrounds, the survey questions can be automatically translated to the language spoken by each respondent.
Another advantage of online surveys is that participants do not meet with the researchers or other respondents. This offers a high level of confidentiality, which in turn, makes the respondent comfortable with giving an honest response. Therefore, researchers get accurate data for use in decision-making.
In traditional methods, other respondents and the attitude of the interviewer may influence a participant’s answers. The online method is ideal for the sensitive and personal questions where respondents may not be comfortable responding to in the presence of other people.
Allows for Collection of Broad Range of Data
Online surveys allow for the collection of a broad range of data such as values, beliefs, attitudes and opinions. This is because various questions can be asked under one subject. The respondents can also be given space to expound on their answers. A wide range of data types is essential in creating a wholesome image of the market the business is trying to understand without having to carry various surveys to cover each aspect.
Online surveys are an ideal market research method for small and large businesses. The advantages listed above make it an all-round data collection method for any research. Did you like and learn more about this research method? Are there advantages we have forgotten? Let us know in the comments section. Also, do not forget to share and spread the word.