Conducting representative online research

Date of publication: April 17, 2005

Abstract:

Conducting representative online market research requires three preconditions: high internet penetration among the survey population; a reliable sampling frame (e.g., an access panel); valid sampling (and weighting) procedures. Based on experiences from the five years the online research institute Zapera has been in operation in the Nordic region, this paper discusses and reviews aspects relating to all three preconditions. The paper starts by reviewing the current levels of internet penetration in the Nordic region, then discusses various aspects from recruitment to incentivisation that contribute to the establishment and maintenance of a reliable sampling frame. The latter part of the paper presents data from a recently conducted exit poll in connection with the general election in Denmark to illustrate both the promise and the limitations of online research at the current point in time. The paper ends with a brief discussion of some of the promises and problems in store for the future of online research.

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