Analysis of Online Survey Services for Marketing Research

By Rosa, Renata Lopes; Bressan, Graça et al. | International Journal of Electronic Commerce Studies, January 1, 2012 | Go to article overview

Analysis of Online Survey Services for Marketing Research


Rosa, Renata Lopes, Bressan, Graça, Toledo, Geraldo Luciano, International Journal of Electronic Commerce Studies


ABSTRACT

The online population has led to an increase in the use of online surveys, which have been a good alternative to capture data from the Internet with regard to collecting and filtering information.

The contribution of this paper is an analysis of current free online survey solutions, showing their advantages, disadvantages and, mainly, the restrictions of free and even paid plans in integration with social networks. The information, already available on social networks, was not used in parallel with surveys; however, it could be implemented in some contexts to increase the analysis process of quantitative and qualitative marketing research as well as increase consumer sampling numbers. The social networks are present today, so they could be more explored in current surveys.

Keyword: Online Survey, Questionnaire, Marketing Research, Social Networks

1. INTRODUCTION

Internet use is increasing due to the decline in prices of software, hardware, and Internet access. More recently, the Internet has seen the formation of virtual communities, groups formed with a particular interest that exchange information with the sole purpose of increasing knowledge or deliberately disseminate ideas. The Internet is synonymous with interconnectivity, rapid access to information, and absorbing ideas.

Access to information from people who were, previously, located in more distant regions has been made easier via the Internet because these individual now have access to the Internet; this access can be at home or in a place with public access to the Internet.

There are also cases where people do not want to have their opinions exposed by face-to-face research, even when preserving anonymity, because they might feel uncomfortable for political or social reasons.

As such, opinion research on the Web has been used in various areas including health1, 2, education3, and e-business4. Further, the use of online survey research has resulted in positive and negative factors. Some positive factors, in addition to those cited above included the following: reducing expense such as paper5, 6 and travel costs for interviewers to reach distant regions. However, negative factors should not be ignored and include insufficient sampling7 and a lack of reliability and validity of responses that are collected online.

Works such as8, 9 have conduced analyses of Application Based Online Surveys; however, have not included experimental tests with actual free online surveys and have not discussed their integration with social networks (e.g., Facebook, Twitter).

As such, the following study analyzed the most used sites for Online Surveys (QuestionProa, Zoomerangb, PollDaddyc, FreeOnlineSurveysd, QuestionForme, SurveyMonkeyf and Kwikg). This paper is organized as follows: Section II presents basic concepts, Section III describes the experimental results, and Section IV concludes the paper and proposes future work.

2. BASIC CONCEPTS

2.1 Online Survey

A survey is not just a questionnaire, rather covers the collection, comparison, and analysis of results from a particular questionnaire. Additionally a survey can be either supervised or unsupervised. With a supervised survey, the interviewer asks the questions directly to respondents and ensures that all the questions are answered. Conversely, with an unsupervised survey, there is no interviewer; for example, electronic questionnaires on the Internet.

Further, the questionnaire used in a survey can be defined as "a set of questions on a topic that does not test the ability of the respondent, but measures their views, their interests, personality traits and biographical information"10. Questionnaire can be administered in the presence of the respondent, by phone, email, or in the form of an electronic form that is made available at a particular site or virtual community in which the interviewee belongs. To develop an effective questionnaire, the researcher must (1) select the medium in which the questionnaire will get to the interviewee and (2) conduct an analysis of the arrangement and presentation of questions to which the interviewee must focus in order to address the issues presented. …

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