If you type ‘survey software’ into Google, you will be presented several alternatives – for example, Qualtrics, QuestionPro, SmartSurvey, SoGoSurvey, SurveyGizmo, SurveyMonkey, SurveyPlanet and SurveySparrow.

Online data collection has become the most common methodology for most market research surveys around the world. However, in some countries, for example, in Asia Pacific, where we operate extensively, data collection online still represents less than 50% of all fieldwork.

I was about to write a blog article about … survey completion rates when an email dropped into my inbox from Confirmit about the topic. Firstly, there aren’t really eight tips there. Secondly, and, more importantly, these are not top tips, in my opinion.

Market research has adopted technology at varying speeds in its history, often at a different rate to other industries. Why is this? Is it important? CAPI, CAWI, CATI, tabulations, reporting and dashboarding all pose different wants and needs.

There are around 100 software solutions for collecting market research survey data online. Many of these 100 solutions have compelling reasons to choose them instead one of the other 99 offerings.

What features do you really need to run successful online surveys? Online survey software ranges in price from free to expensive with licences costing over $10,000 per year with additional fees for each interview ranging from nothing to $1 or more, but it’s important to consider what features matter.

You are ready to do your first online survey or increase the volume of surveys that you are conducting. The obvious thing to do is to use Google to find the right tool. Whilst Google’s algorithms are undoubtedly impressive, when you are searching for a more professional online survey tool than the one that most people use, it can be tough finding that right software system.

If you’re serious about carrying out online surveys you will need to consider the 10 essential things described in this article. This is not intended as an exhaustive list – there may be other features that you need due to your own circumstances. However, in my opinion, these are a good starting point.

If you make a Google search for online survey software, you can go through several pages finding different products. However, few of these offer mixed modes or multimode surveys. Ignoring the paid for advertising, the first page of the search at the time of writing this article threw up three review sites (Capterra, PCMag, a 2014 blog post) and seven products (Smart Survey, SoGoSurvey, SurveyMonkey, Qualtrics, Snap Surveys, SurveyGizmo and QuestionPro).

There’s one big difference between an online survey respondent and a respondent who is asked questions by an interviewer. If you are the respondent, you are on your own when the survey is online. This makes a huge difference…