Tag Archives: mobile technology

Mobile Surveys: The Pandora’s Box of Awesomeness

In market research any new trend often feels like a Pandora’s Box: something a company feels it needs to open but is then blindsided by the outpouring results. Big data, social media, and content marketing are some examples—even as many are finally being harnessed for decipherable benefits. Mobile technology is certainly in this category; as an example, we reported that 71% of businesses employ mobile apps yet almost half of the respondents find it “extremely challenging.”

The reality is that the Pandora’s Box that is mobile technology is already open. As CNN reported, more Americans are using mobile devices to browse the internet than on PC’s, and already 60% of cell phones are smartphones.

This should not be the case where surveys and mobile technology intersect. The one danger coming out of this Pandora’s Box is the efficiency in data collection, and there is a box-full of research as proof.

This qSample’s SlideShare on some of the advantages of mobile surveys (and we will get more below):

In our Mobile Vs. Online White Paper, two panels were recruited to conduct a survey on preferences in chewing gum. One panel used mobile technology, while the other used computers. The conclusions not only underscored the benefits of mobile surveys, but deduced the behavioral differences between consumers using mobile technology and those who primarily stayed online:

Mobile data collection has an advantage over online surveys in cooperation rates (i.e., likelihood to participate) and in speed of response. Twice the data was collected in half the field of time. The mobile survey had to be shut down earlier than the online one, which was left open nearly a week to achieve the desired sample size of 300 completed surveys. For short surveys, mobile data collection can reasonable replace online data collection. In addition, the quality of data could be expected to be superior because the methodology is still a novelty and respondents seem more engaged. Because of this, field times can be shortened as well.

Even Wikipedia agrees, stating: “Apart from the high mobile phone penetration, further advantages are quicker response times and the possibility to reach previously hard-to-reach target groups.” Last but not least for any business feeling their budget might be another Pandora’s Box, and as a market search company explained—mobile surveys offer a “significant drop in production costs.”

From a marketing standpoint (and referring back to the SlideShare), the research also revealed these insights:

–   Mobile respondents are generally younger and work full-time.
–   Mobile respondents generally earn more.
–   Mobile respondents tend to buy more capriciously, such as making a decision in the checkout lane instead of planning.
–   Mobile respondents are more open to changing brands.

This all points to the reality that mobile technology is fertile ground for many companies. To wit: mobile surveys are more efficient and reach an audience that can be better influenced.

Of course, there are some disadvantages to mobile surveys, as our article demonstrated:

–   Surveys need to ensure they are calibrated to various mobile platforms, from IPad to Kindle Fire, from IPhone to Android phones.
–   Questions need to be as short and concise as possible, because of the limited space in mobile platforms.
–   Apps that conduct surveys need to be as light as possible, because of the restricted size of mobile technology hard drives.
–   Because of better wireless network services in cities, surveys can potentially be skewed, limiting the responses from those living in suburban settings.

These disadvantages will likely become moot, though. Cloud technology, an expanding range of wireless networks, enhanced devices being produced every year, and more people buying mobile devices will gradually erase these concerns. As for length and bulk of questionnaires, our recent piece provided a key to the best possible surveys in any medium: write short and sweet questionnaires. In other words, mobile surveys are already a suitable platform for effective online surveys.

However, the reality is that online surveys is still king as it relates to data collection; it’s the mode of choice for research data collection and continues to surge (even beyond online sampling). Industry purists predicted that mobile would surpass online, and that has yet to happen.

In the myth of Pandora’s Box, the one concept that was left after the forbidden container was opened was hope. Needless to say, when it comes to mobile surveys (and all mobile technology), hope is certainly out of the box and into a potentially epic future.

Will General Contractors Ever Embrace Smartphones for Shopping?

A recent qSample study uncovered the intimate shopping habits of general contractors, including their usage of smartphones while in-store for purchases. This is a vital area to study for marketing, as it is no secret that consumers now use mobile devices more than PCs when it comes to online retail…and they are very engaged online while inside stores.

Yet to better understand general contractor in-store shopping behaviors with smartphones it is insightful to compare them to general shoppers with smartphones.

The general shopper statistics were gleaned from a 2013 Google study: Mobile In-Store Research: How in-store shoppers are using mobile devices.

Here is some of the eye-catching breakdown:

– 84% of general shoppers use their smartphones in-store to assist purchasing.
– 66% of general contractors use their smartphones in-store to assist purchasing.

– 53% of general shoppers use smartphones to compare prices elsewhere while in-store.
– 17% general contractors use smart phones to compare prices elsewhere while in-store.

– 19% of general shoppers have used a QR Code in-store.
– 10% of general contractors have used a QR Code in-store.

This brief comparison reveals evident differences of in-store smartphone usage between general contractors and general shoppers. Why do general contractors rely less on smartphones, one would ask?

Here are two initial possibilities:

– General contractors shop 61% of the time at the big four stores (Home Depot, Menards, Lowe’s, and Ace Hardware). With such cemented shopping habits, the idea of seeking other deals will be more limited than general shoppers.

– General contractors, in general, spend less time working behind a desk with a screen in the conventional office environment—as they are clearly in a more labor-intense industry. Thus, technology in more a universal sense has not translated to general contractors.

More research needs to be conducted, naturally, but market forces are certainly not ignoring general contractors in their use of mobile technology (as seen by the many contractor and builder apps available).

There are possible solutions to increase general contractor engagement with their smartphones while in-store—with the insights of the Google study:

– 64% of general shoppers in-store still use search engines to find product information. According to a study by Symantec, 71% of businesses employ mobile apps (although almost half of the respondents find it “extremely challenging”). This means there is a disconnect between consumers and business mobile apps; and therefore there is opportunity for companies that invest well in creating attractive yet useful online apps.

– Consumers are more educated than ever because of technology. This means they expect more out of a store while visiting. Beyond friendly service, they want informed, customized experiences that include exclusive in-store deals; personalized recommendations/choices while shopping (personal or online); and knowledgeable employees to engage with.

The above is certainly germane to businesses of any size or market share vying for general contractor dollars via smartphone avenues. After all, the average cost of a business app is a sensible $6,453. Furthermore and regardless of the consumer sector, the Google study stresses one key, universal rule when it comes to satisfying smartphone users: make buying a complete and involving experiencing the entire process.

In a way and good news for the future, customer service has not changed, except that information is always at the shopper’s grasp. Therefore, it is essential for marketers to continue gaining and giving data to general contractors—especially with a vastly improving housing and building economy.

Contractor VS General Shopping