Internet studies represent one of the most rapid and lowest cost methods for realization of market studies.
Internet studies can have various forms. Respondents for such studies are recruited from a database of people, who expressed their interest in participation in marketing studies or through displaying invitations to take surveys at random placed on most popular websites. In the past, the second type of recruitment was dominant, though currently the first method is used increasingly frequently.
The size and the structure of the data base of respondents (in terms of age, education, income or location) guarantees sample population sufficient for realization of most types of market studies.
Internet surveys also provide substantial savings:
- in terms of costs – there is no need for remuneration for surveyors, no costs of printing surveys, introducing answers from surveys into data bases etc., and
- in terms of time – results from surveys are stored immediately in the target data base, thanks to which it is possible at any time to process them and analyse the stored data, we also save time required to train surveyors, their commuting to respondents etc.
Internet studies also represent one of the most effective methods of studies using multimedia.
With the use of Internet studies, it is possible to realize among the others:
- Examination of consumer demand and preferences
- Customer satisfaction study
- Study of product / service users and purchase motivations
- Testing concepts, names, logos and advertisements
- Study of efficiency and functionality of websites
The primary drawback of Internet studies brought commonly into attention is the lack of representativeness of the sample population. In case of random selection of respondents, it would be indeed possible to obtain a higher fraction number of younger people, with better education and earning more.
In order to prevent this from happening, an amount-driven sample population selection method is used.
In the amount-driven sample population selection method, thanks to initial recruitment of respondents, the target sample population corresponds to the target population in terms of e.g. age, location, education, income, utilization of products etc.
Internet studies comprise not only quantitative studies (Internet surveys) but also qualitative studies: group surveys in the form of discussion on private forums and extended individual interviews via Internet communicators.