Surveys can be great tools for companies to use when they need to gather data about a large group of people. They are often quick to administer with results that can be generalized in a meaningful way. And with today’s technological advances facilitating a universal connectedness, the online survey, especially, can be a great way for companies to reach people that they might never have reached before. Here are six advantages of online surveys:
They are Cost-Effective
One of the biggest advantages of online surveys is their cost. Online surveys are cheaper than paper ones; companies don’t have to set aside money for printing, mail supplies or postage. And as opposed to interviews and focus group research, online surveys don’t necessitate any costs for gathering people in one location (such as those for travel, catering and accommodation) nor do they require interviewers who will need to be paid for their services. Furthermore, companies save money by saving time. Online surveys maintain data in real time, meaning companies can get computerized results almost instantaneously, saving them precious working hours and the money necessary to fund them.
They are Flexible
Online surveys are also flexible. Unlike paper surveys, which have to be reprinted if/when errors arise, online surveys can be easily modified with just a few keystrokes. Similarly, they can be altered according to the demographics of the population being questioned, making it easier for companies to target specific audiences without having to print new survey forms. They can be crafted so that respondents skip irrelevant questions, as well, negating frustration and, thus, encouraging higher response rates.
They are Convenient
Another advantage of online surveys is the fact that companies don’t have to physically assemble respondents in order to gather data. Instead, respondents can record their answers how, when and where it’s most convenient.
They Have Greater Reach
Online surveys have a greater reach than other types of market research techniques. Think about it: it’s far simpler to send a survey to thousands of people via the Internet than it is to mail a copy to everyone individually or to try to interview respondents face-to-face. Indeed, companies can easily screen and select survey participants based on varying parameters according to their needs and then send a link to a survey to anyone (with a email address) in any location at any time. And because respondents are able to reply to the survey across several platforms (computer, phone, tablet, etc.) depending on their own preferences, it’s more likely that they’ll actually complete it. Finally, online surveys allow for automated reminders, further increasing respondent participation.
They Yield Results Quicker
The convenience and reach of online surveys, coupled with their accessibility, make them particularly suited to produce quick results. There is no wait time for surveys to be mailed back or for responses to be manually entered into a data system and then analyzed. Because answers are typed directly into an electronic database system, companies have instant access to facts and figures, thus eliminating the time other data collection methods need for transcribing survey answers.
They are More Accurate
When it comes down to it, online surveys are usually more accurate. Since respondents record their own answers, there is no opportunity for an interviewer or facilitator to misinterpret a response, and there is a better chance that respondents will be fully honest. After all, it’s a lot easier for people to anonymously pen their thoughts than it is for them to tell those thoughts to someone in person!
Want to Learn More?
Put plainly, the advantages of online surveys make them a solid market research method for a lot of companies. If you need help understanding if and how an online survey might help you, too, contact our team at Communications for Research (CFR). We can review your needs and match them with the right market research methodology so that you get actionable results that increase your ROI.
You might also wish to download our free eBook, “The Insider’s Guide to Successfully Using Market Research Online Surveys,” for additional tips and information.