Online research has establisthed worldwide compared to classical telephone and personal surveys. Thus, a fair share of quantitative interviews is done online already. Technological progress and increase of Internet use are essential drivers for digital methods in market-, opinion and social research. Nine out of ten households are equipped with Internet access in Austria, with more than three quarters of these households using mobile broadband access and approx. 88% of the Austrians – nearly 75% daily – are actively using the Internet on a regular basis. (Source: Statistik Austria)
Crucial advantages of Online research compared to other methods are speed of response and reduced time in data collection, high data quality with logic and validity checks and interactive questionnaires with new types of survey-questions e.g. ranking of answer-categories by drag & drop. We work with professional Online survey software, offering beside other quality-criteria an automatic routing of questions depending on given answers, comprehensive control of survey-flow and further verifications to guarantee technical quality of your Online surveys. Online surveys are self-completed by participants, i.e. filled in without advice of interviewers. Hence, interviewer-bias is removed. With perceived increase of anonymity, more honest and less social desirable answers are given, especially in regard to sensitive questions . Online surveys provide the opportunity for higher samples and representative studies amongst Internet-active people are.
Even though online research is successfully used for several research areas, some limitations have to be considered. Online research uses technologies which must be handled appropriately by researcher as well as respondents. So, professional technical service should be used, which also affects costs of a study. Still, elderly people and lower educational level are less active in the Internet than other groups of the population. Thus, other classical methods like telephone or personal interviews might be more appropriate for research objectives including this target-group. In case the survey-topic includes a variety of aspects suggesting detailed explanation, a supporting interviewer should conduct the survey. Non-response in Online survey is often mentioned as disadvantage of this method; however non-response is namely an issue in telephone and personal interviews as well and despite of these limitiations, advantages of Internet methods will support the ongoing success of Online research.
Mobile methods increase their influence, as the market share of smartphones grows each year. We use the strength of mobile market research for younger, mobile target groups and immediate feedback within the context and in real time. Therefore mobile methods are preferably relevant for research questions concerning attitudes, habits and differences of people in everyday situations.