Mobile News Mix

Here's Why Respondents Drop  "Mobile First" Surveys

Posted by MFour on Apr 12, 2018 10:10:00 AM


Stopwatch 10Apr18

Mobile survey engagement is won or lost in a fraction of a second – a time span shorter than it takes to say “mobile survey engagement.” 

The time span we’re talking about is the gap that occurs between screen taps as a respondent proceeds through a smartphone survey.

The questionnaire that hesitates for just a third of a second or more is lost, according to research from Google.

"Mobile first” or “mobile optimized” surveys will regularly fail the speed test. The user experience starts badly due to slow load times, and goes downhill from there. Engagement erodes, and data quality erodes with it. And its likely that these frustrated consumer won't want to take any more surveys, exacerbating the panel recruitment problem that already plagues online research. The solution is to reach mobile consumers offline via a smartphone app.

The proven answer is MFour's  Surveys On The Go® app. Introduced in 2011, at the dawn of mobile research, SOTG has attracted the world's largest, most engaged all-mobile consumer research panel. More than 2 million U.S. users have downloaded it, and their satisfaction and engagement can be measured by the 4.5 stars out of 5 rating the app consistently receives in unsolicited public ratings and reviews left at the Apple and Google Plus app stores. If respondents' mobile app survey experiences were slow, they wouldn't be so pleased, and the number of consumers downloading it wouldn't be growing by more than 2,000 per day, strictly by word-of-mouth.


"Mobile first" surveys fail the speed test because they don't take place inside an app. They merely shoehorn conventional online surveys onto smartphone screens. Also referred to as “mobile optimized” or “mobile web” surveys, they require an uninterrupted connection between phones and websites, and the risk of disengagement or dropped surveys increases with each question. That's because the "mobile first" process resembles a  game of ping-pong. Each question goes ping as it’s loaded into consumers' phones, and then pong, when they send their answers and try to move on to the next question. This back-and-forth volleying continues until the questionnaire is completed. It adds up to 40 chances for delays in receiving questions and sending answers over the course of a 20-question survey. 

According to Google, if any part of an online exchange takes more than a 20th of a second, “the connection between action and reaction is broken."

Here are a few more observations from Google’s analysis of what happens when mobile consumers are forced to wait:

  • “When it comes to negative mobile interactions, one of the top complaints we heard is “slow interactions.”
  • “Making speed a priority is critical…53% of mobile site visits are abandoned if pages take more than 3 seconds to load.”
  • “46% of people say they would not purchase from a brand again if they have an interruptive mobile experience” (think of the survey-taking experience as market research's own consumer satisfaction challenge).

Whether it’s a quick-hit, fast-turnaround study on MFourDIY®, the only all-mobile DIY platform, or a project powered by the unprecedented location tracking, targeting and segmenting now available to users of the new Path-2-Purchase™ Platform, it all begins with what’s happening under the hood. If you give your research audience the opportunity to respond via Surveys On The Go®  app, you're giving them the superb smartphone experience they expect and appreciate. And they'll reward you with the engaged attention that leads to quality data and insights that will support business recommendations you can stand behind.

For a conversation and a demo on how MFour delivers validated consumer understanding for all, just get in touch by clicking here.



Topics: mobile research, mobile apps, Path-2-Purchase™ Platform

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