High potential for mobile Web surveys:
Findings from a survey representative for German Internet users

Frederik Funke & Alexandra Wachenfeld

Poster presented at the 14th annual General Online Research Tagung (GOR) conference of the German Society for Online Research (D.G.O.F.)
March 5-7, 2012 in Mannheim (Germany)

Relevance & Research Question: Mobile Web surveys – i.e., online questionnaires that are accessed with mobile devices like smartphones – offer new possibilities for both behavioral research and consumer research. The aim of our study is to gain more insight into the potential of mobile Web surveys like speed, contacting hard-to-reach populations, or using location data.
Methods & Data: Participants (N = 1501) were recruited from the LINK online panel where all members are actively recruited subsequent to representative telephone interviews. Thus, there is no heavy-user bias, which often can be observed in access panels (see Wachenfeld, 2010). Overall, the panel aims to be representative for the general German Internet population.
Results: Overall 43% of German Internet users have a smartphone at their disposal. Most users (60%) would use a mobile device to participate in a Web survey. However, in the present study only 11% participated using a cell phone. The main reasons were time considerations (24%), not feeling like it (17%), and not knowing that it was possible (12%). As expected, participants using cell phones were more likely to be abroad instead of at home. A further insight is that nearly half of the smartphone owners would allow the read-out of their actual location (e.g., using GPS).
Added Value: Findings are representative for the German Internet users. Overall, there is a considerable potential for mobile Web surveys. New possibilities for mobile data collection (e.g., point of sale studies or mixed-mode designs) as well as the impact on data quality are discussed.