The importance of online surveys is realised by modern companies as they are instrumental in delivering great results for their business. Online surveys are part of market research which is indispensable prior to launching new products and services. The process of design, manufacturing, etc. of new products involves large amounts of funds, and before engaging in the design and manufacturing stage companies should study prospective customers’ reactions to them in order to assess whether such new introductions are likely to enhance their business.
In online surveys the data are collected in two stages. Interestingly, the secondary research stage is the first one, and in it existing sources are analysed to find out information on products a specific company intends to manufacture and sell, and also on the current market existing for the products. The mass media, mostly newspapers and magazines, as well as statistics or white papers by experts, can be used for secondary research. Then comes the turn of the primary research stage. This research involves the information yielded by online surveys related to respondents’ interest in such products which are filled by focus groups.
Online surveys can also be offered with the purpose of helping to establish catchy logos, preferred flavours, materials, etc. They are becoming a primary tool for market research as they offer much lower costs compared to traditional snail mail surveys, and the responses are delivered much faster. Online surveys can offer invaluable information on the feasibility of profits for forthcoming products and services, as well as provide information on existing products and services, their quality and extent to which they suit customers’ demands. That is why it is important for companies to manage to attract as many respondents as possible and hold their attention so that they complete their online surveys as fully as possible. Offering rewards is a good incentive for respondents who earn either points or money when they fill questionnaires on certain websites providing such rewards whenever surveys are filled and submitted. But this is not a win-win situation for customers only. As already pointed out, online surveys are indispensable tools for market research conducted among targeted audiences. Of course, there is the problem of customers trying to cheat by presenting themselves under other identities to fill more surveys that do not target their group.
The data collected using online surveys are hard data on which important decisions can be based. They can comprise numbers of times consumers buy specific products, or opinions about consumers’ preferred flavours, features, etc. These data can be analysed to form an idea of buying trends as well as other traits of consumers’ behaviour. On the basis of such information, companies can take important informed decisions on design and marketing, as well as on the improvement of currently offered products or services. Thus surveys are harnessed to serve as efficient basis for the improvement and expansion of business for numerous companies that realise their advantage and employ them regularly as part of their innovative marketing approaches.