What is an Online Survey?

Online surveys are powerful tools used to collect data and get answers to almost any question. In recent years, they have become the go-to solution for gathering information across a myriad of different use cases.

This is because online surveys are easy to design, distribute and analyse. High speed internet is now widely available and part of our everyday life meaning online surveys are easily accessible and widely used.

Online surveys can be used for a variety of different reasons. The data that each organisation is aiming to collect will differ between uses. For example, consider a not-for-profit conducting a survey on charitable affairs. This survey will have very different objectives to a market research survey aiming to discover information that will help businesses make a profit for instance validating if a new product resonated with their target market.

No matter what the purpose behind designing a survey, the end goal is to collect quality data that can then be analysed. Once data is analysed, researchers will apply their findings to real world situations. Online surveys play a valuable role in helping businesses and organisations determine how they can pivot strategies to best suit the requirements of those who utilise their product and services.

Undertaking research using an online survey

Who Uses Online Surveys?

A broad cross-section of industries and the public sector use online survey software to gather opinions, feedback and information they need to help improve key outcomes such as client satisfaction, service delivery and profitability.

Customer Surveys

You can use customer surveys to determine information about selected customers' behaviours and opinions. This helps businesses adjust products and services to increase sales and improve customer experience. Customer surveys have great potential in figuring out how you need to move forward or improve on aspects of your business. Most customers are happy to complete quick customer surveys online to provide feedback and help to improve a brand or product they love or change an experience that wasn't up to their expectations.

Customer Surveys >

Employee Surveys

Employee surveys are used in the workplace to determine factors such as job satisfaction and employee engagement levels. Data gathered from individual staff members can help businesses improve on recruitment, training, and retention, and much more. Using this data wisely can improve the overall working environment, productivity and profitability.

Employee Surveys >

Market Research Surveys

A market research survey program can help find insights as to how specific target markets think, feel and act. This can help businesses who are launching new products or services or looking to expand existing markets. Trends can shift frequently, so market research surveys are a great way of staying informed and reacting accordingly. Conducting research online reduces costs for start-up businesses and larger firms alike enabling them to do more for less.

Market Research Surveys >

Education Surveys

Education surveys can be used to evaluate the quality of teaching and of the learning environment. They are essential in providing students with the learning environments they need to thrive. Gathering this information online can easily show departments where they need to improve. Information can remain anonymous and confidential, improving the honesty and reliability of the data whilst ensuring compliance with privacy policies.

Education Surveys >

Not-for-Profit Surveys

Surveys are commonly used by Charities and not-for-profit organisations to engage with a range of respondents such as supporters, donors, staff, and fundraisers. Common types of surveys are volunteer feedback, donor feedback, event feedback, and donation forms. Eligible organisations are able to apply for a discount on SmartSurvey plans to help make their budgets go further and support the great work they do.

Not-for-Profit Surveys >

Government Surveys

Within the public sector, government and politics, the need to gather public opinion and community feedback is every bit as important as it is within the commercial world. Surveys can assist in enabling bodies to discover how the public feel about various topics, or to canvas political opinion from constituents, revealing the issues that communities care most about, and more. Using online survey software enables timely collection and analysis in a secure yet flexible manner.

Government Surveys >

Healthcare Surveys

Surveys can be implemented in the healthcare sector to find out about how patients or loved ones feel in response to how they were dealt with in a medical situation. As healthcare is such a sensitive topic, online survey solutions that take privacy and security seriously are a great way to keep information confidential and anonymous.

Healthcare Surveys >

Hospitality Surveys

You can use surveys to gather feedback from delegates before, during and after events, or to measure satisfaction with venues, catering services, accommodation and more. Designing hospitality surveys online can be a great way to collect data quickly and with ease. The instantaneous manner of data collection means you can react to negative comments immediately.

Hospitality Surveys >

Everything Else

If you have a survey requirement that isn't reflected here, get in touch with our friendly team. We are confident our powerful online survey software will work for you.

How to get in touch >

Advantages of Online Surveys

Online surveys are a popular medium for conducting many forms of research. This is perhaps due to their numerous advantages, most of which make them more beneficial than other traditional methods.

  • Easily align your survey with your brand

    Ensure your online survey is aligned with your brand. If a survey is designed to carefully reflect your brand's visual identity, participants will view it as coming from a reputable source. This has the potential to influence them in taking the survey more seriously.

  • Privacy and confidentiality are improved

    Online surveys can implement a variety of privacy settings that enhance confidentiality. For example, only those with the specific link or invitation to a survey can see its contents. For extra protection, you can sometimes choose to lock the survey with a password.

  • Templates can simplify survey design

    Easy to use templates can be used, making survey creation a breeze. If you're not sure where to start out with designing a survey, there are a range of templates available. These can be tailored to suit your specific research goals.

  • Online surveys are easy to distribute

    Online surveys can be easily distributed to a wide range of individuals, across geographies, time zones, demographics, 24/7 all year-round. Unlike postal or telephone surveys, online surveys can be distributed with very little effort.

  • Costs are reduced

    Without printing costs or the requirement to be there in person while the respondent fills out a survey, online questionnaires are a much cheaper option.

  • Participants find online surveys easy to complete

    As most adults have access to computers and the internet, it's relatively easy for them to complete surveys online. They don't have to deal with the hassle of using pen and paper, then sending the survey back. Online tools mean they can simply fill out their information with the click of a button or by dragging a slider.

  • Analysis can be instantaneous

    With online surveys, you can see results as they're submitted in real-time. This means you're not wasting time waiting for respondents to send physical copies of questionnaires back.

  • Utilise technology in new ways

    Online surveys can use technology to make each survey bespoke to each respondent. For example, if a particular question doesn't apply to a specific participant, the online survey can be designed to automatically skip that section.

  • Data analysis becomes streamlined

    With paper questionnaires, researchers have to collect, co-ordinate and analyse data themselves. Online surveys, however, gather respondents' data in one space. From here, the data can be easily turned into graphs, cross tab reports, exported to CSV or imported into other tools for statistical analysis. Online surveys also reduce the potential for illegible written responses, or invalid selections.

Easily Expand Your Research

Many online survey design tools offer the opportunity to buy responses through services called consumer panels. A consumer panel consists of respondents that match your target requirements who are then paid a fee to take part in your study. Consumer panels offer the ability to buy responses and conduct market research projects extremely quickly from a pool of high-quality audiences.

Simply select your demographic by a wide range of variables, from country, to income, transportation use and even lifestyle habits. We'll then figure out which individuals within our customer panel are suitable respondents for your specific research requirements. We'll send off your survey, and you can sit back, relax and receive valuable insights in no time.

Buying survey responses is a cost-effective way to conduct market research and help get the answers you need make informed decisions around your marketing or product strategy.

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Create an Online Survey

With the right tools, creating an online survey is easy. You can begin your research project right now, with our fully customisable online survey templates. Simply customise one of our easy to use templates with your own questions and then start sending it out to potential respondents.

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