How to choose between mobile surveys and online surveys

If you’re planning on venturing into the unknown, whether it’s a new business venture, new product, or even something a little more laid back, like launching a new event, getting the measure of potential ups and downs is vital; that’s where mobile surveys can be extremely important.

A well-constructed survey can give you valuable insight into key criteria such as:

  • How much people are willing to pay for a product
  • Where do they usually buy a product
  • How often do they use a service

All of which is vital information for success.

There are two main ways to conduct a survey: mobile surveys and online surveys. What are the differences and which one is best for you?

Here are a few considerations that should help you decide which survey to choose.

Mobile Surveys vs. Online Surveys

What Is An Online Survey?

Online surveys are surveys that are created with an online survey platform and distributed online through a variety of survey distribution methods.

These methods include (but are not limited to):

What Is A Mobile Survey?

Mobile surveys are created with an online survey platform, optimized for and distributed exclusively on mobile devices.

These survey platforms create relationships with app publishers, delivering surveys inside mobile apps in exchange for in-app incentives like an extra life in a game or access to exclusive recipes in a cooking app.

There are pros and cons to different survey methods. Check out how the two stack up below.

Potential Reach

Over the past fifteen years, mobile phone use has expanded drastically. This makes surveying respondents on their mobile devices a great choice as a research tool because the potential reach is bigger than ever. What’s more, the nature of mobile device use inspires respondents to fill out mobile surveys more completely than their email-based online counterparts.

Surveys conducted via email invitation will also struggle to get through email filters, something that mobile surveys don’t need to worry about. A survey sent straight to a mobile device has a much higher open rate.

Survey Feedback

Online surveys offer really in-depth data which definitely helps decision-makers. However, the data sometimes takes a few hours, or even days, to be compiled meaning decisions can’t be made as quickly. Mobile surveys on the other hand usually offer real-time feedback, making data analysis a much more responsive task.

Target Audience

Surveys are ineffective if the data collected is from an inaccurate source; if your target market is 25-30, there isn’t much point in researching 65 to 70-year-olds! Luckily, both mobile and online surveys offer excellent targeting to make sure you’re reaching the right people with your questions.

Of course, you can choose to target certain demographics with your survey, usually at an extra cost. Mobile wins out here, too. Although both methods offer segmentation to help improve survey accuracy, mobile devices are usually unique to an individual, so there’s less room for error or the wrong user filling in the survey.

Survey Questions and Options

While mobile surveys offer up a great way to reach plenty of people who are more willing to answer your survey, the questions you can ask are definitely more limited than those available in an emailed survey. Why? Basically, mobile users are less inclined to read lengthy questions. So if you’re using mobile surveys, questions need to be short and to the point, whereas online surveys can deliver more in-depth questions.

There you have it, plenty of things to think about before you conduct your next survey. On the face of it, mobile surveys (which are definitely growing in favor) seem to offer more benefits. However, it’s safe to say either online or mobile surveys are a valuable, integral part of any market research depending on the audience you are trying to reach and what your survey needs are.