With the use of internet, it is more cost-effective for market researchers to recruit their respondents and conduct surveys. In spite of the widespread use of online-survey, the quality of the result is always questioned. The following paragraphs will analysis the advantages and disadvantages of using online survey in digital research.
In online survey, probability sampling is not used to recruit online panels. Online surveys often recruit people from online advertisements or invitations at web sites specifically built to recruit consumers to join survey panel and complete surveys. Although many researchers do not believe Internet bias is an issue in their research, some researchers argue that it may lead to erroneous conclusions in terms of digital behaviour when measuring some specific items. Online survey has some disadvantages to measure cross-platform and cross-channel behaviours. First, the result may not be inaccurate when using online survey measure consumer engagement in a cross-platform world. For instance, it is not appropriate to ask online-survey respondents to estimate their time spent online and the time spent watching television. There will be huge errors in the result. It is mainly due to the two reasons. Firstly, some respondents may have trouble to recall how they spend their time accurately. Another reason is those respondents may spend more time on Internet compared with other people. Due to the same reasons, it also causes huge bias in measuring customers’ online spending behaviours by using online survey. In that case, skews of respondents’ online behaviours and recall errors are mainly responsible for the inaccurate of the result of online survey.
In spite of the disadvantages, online surveys can also provide good result if using it in an appropriate way. It is suitable to measure the impact of digital advertising campaign, the drivers of digital consumer behaviors, the satisfaction of a website, and visitor and non-buyer analysis.
Despite online survey is widely used nowadays, it is still necessary for the market researchers to take the shortcoming of using online survey into consideration when they conducting a digital research.
FULGONI, G 2014, ‘Uses and Misuses of Online-Survey Panels in Digital Research’, Journal Of Advertising Research, 54, 2, pp. 133-137, Business Source Complete, EBSCOhost, viewed 1 May 2015.