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Web Survey Bibliography

Title Time Related Inconsistencies in Global Online Panels
Year 2010
Access date 28.06.2011

Respondents who are active members in online panels and enjoy the interviewing process, do surveys more often, and stay in the system for years. They have become the core of the online respondent community. In the United States, those who complete over thirty interviews a month are the core of the interviewing community and represent over half of those constituting the panel system. The average respondent serves on 4.1 panels and completes the lion share of interviews being conducted in the commercial sphere.

Respondent tenure has been recognized as a factor influencing purchasing intent. In 29 studies, representing some 40,000 interviews conducted by Ron Gailey of Washington Mutual during 2006-7, a 30% drop in purchasing intent for WAMU’s financial products was noted. As reported by Ron Gailey in 2008, these trends did not coincide with sales report data from the field. Washington Mutual is gone and we will never know if incorrect business decisions were made from this research data.

Many variables logically tie into respondent tenure. Panelists who enjoy the interviewing process can become truly hyperactive. We hypothesize that such respondents will behave differently from those who are new to the system. Indeed if panels aggregate too many such respondents they will no longer represent the population that they were drawn from, no matter how rigorous the sampling effort might originally have been.

During 2009, we surveyed 180 panels in 35 countries focusing on buyer, media and socio-graphic segmentations. In this paper, we will show that respondents, who are in multiple panels and complete surveys frequently, present extremely different buying behaviors. The numbers of these respondents and the impact it has on buying behavior are substantial and outweigh numerous online research quality efforts being considered.


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Year of publication2010
Bibliographic typeConferences, workshops, tutorials, presentations