Online surveys, also known as CAWI (Computer-Assisted Web Interviewing), are a modern quantitative method of collecting information. This method is highly advantageous due to its speed in obtaining information and its cost-effectiveness compared to traditional techniques. Online surveys are commonly used in market and social research.
After the COVID-19 pandemic and introduction of martial law in Ukraine, online surveys have become even more relevant as they can be conducted remotely, ensuring the safety of both researchers and participants.
Pros and cons of online surveys
Online research has both advantages and disadvantages. One of the main advantages of online surveys is their speed and cost-effectiveness compared to traditional methods such as questionnaire surveys conducted in apartments or on the streets. Online surveys are well-suited for industry research and tracking market trends, customer sentiment, and behavioral characteristics. They are also useful for conducting expert surveys.
However, online research is less accurate than traditional methods in selecting a representative sample for the survey. Not all categories of the population have access to the Internet, which can lead to bias in the data collected. This limitation primarily affects the older generation (60+) and residents of rural areas.
In socio-political research, online surveys may not be the best method for measuring the ratings of candidates. Traditional face-to-face surveys are better suited for this purpose, as online and telephone surveys (CATI) may not be as accurate due to the limited base of respondents, which can lead to significant distortion of the results.
Overall, online research can be an effective tool for certain types of research, but it is important to carefully consider the limitations and potential biases associated with this method.
Methods for conducting online surveys. Online research panel
- Surveying your own database of respondents: This involves using a consulting company’s wide base of contacts to conduct surveys among specific target groups.
- Distributing survey forms to the existing customer base: This method allows for quick and accurate information gathering from specific target respondents.
- Selecting respondents in social networks and instant messengers: This method allows for a more representative survey among a specific geographical location, gender, age category, profession, or people united by common interests. Social media specialists can find the most suitable audience for the survey and conduct it among a representative sample.
- Surveying using a mobile application installed on respondents’ smartphones (online research panel). This method allows for surveys to be sent to specific demographic and social groups. Participants may receive a monetary reward or other incentives for their participation.
Online surveys are a popular and modern way of conducting sociological and marketing research. While they may not always be able to replace traditional methods in terms of data representativeness, they are effective in solving certain research problems.
The Center for Applied Research’s specialists can help select the best survey option based on specific research objectives and obtain the most reliable information in the shortest possible time and at the best price.
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