- eCommerce

Designing Effective Web Surveys for eCommerce Websites

In order to generate a great user experience, the site has to be optimized for a target audience. That is where web surveys can provide much assistance. Web surveys serve as a means for generating customer and user feedback. When it comes to online businesses, in order to get the best result, asking the visitors for their input can majorly improve your business.

Designing Effective Web Surveys for eCommerce Websites

Web surveys often don’t get their due share of recognition, but they do play an important role in an online business’s success. However, a poorly build survey is of little use. Certain points have to be kept in mind when designing a web survey, such as the few are mentioned below.

  1. Mobile Friendly Surveys

With the number of mobile users increasing exponentially in these past few years, creating a mobile friendly interface is an imperative. Nowadays, there’s a greater likelihood that customers visit your site via their smartphones rather than through their PC. This means that your site will be generating more traffic and more people will be taking your survey. However, if the survey is not properly designed, your user experience will take a significant hit.

Designing a mobile adaptable survey can be a tricky task for a number of reasons, with the main issue being the amount of time. Taking a survey on a smartphone is generally a slow task. It takes an average person 11%-50% longer to complete a survey on a smartphone than to complete one on a desktop. There are three main reasons behind this:

  • Distractions:

Studies have shown that users are generally more distracted during a survey while on their smartphones than when filling out a survey through a desktop.

  • Internet Reception/Connection Quality:

Desktops have a higher speed internet connection while smartphones server connections are rather slow.

  • Screen Size:

Since smartphones have a comparatively smaller screen, it is more difficult for the users attempt the survey.

If the above issues are not properly addressed, it can result in a lower user experience and customers are more likely to leave mid-survey.

The key to a good survey is to define your surveys objective first and build a questionnaire in accordance with the type of feedback you want, but don’t make it too long. Keep the length of the survey short and stick to-the-point questions.

Hence, it is crucial to design an interface that can be run either desktop, Android or iOS.

Design a questionnaire that requires a simple yes or no answer. Do not use matrix questions. Multiple choice questions create an unnecessary hurdle for the user as they will have to scroll left right and up and down on their small screen in order to answer a single question. So avoiding matrix questions is the safest bet.

  1. Generating User Experience

Creating a web survey is a bit different than designing any other page of a website, but nonetheless, it requires a design that would generate excellent UX. You want the user to be invested in the survey that he is filling out and not drop the survey midway. Keep the following points in mind when designing your survey:

  • Use short precise questions that do not beat around the bush. Be direct with your clients. Remove all unnecessary questions from your survey, as they will only waste the valuable time of your users.
  • Mention the average response time at the top of your survey so that users know how much of their time will be consumed while completing the task.
  • Use adequate line spacing so that the visitor can focus on the question better.
  • Don’t be afraid to use color, it might help you simplify and break-up the survey content.
  • Use a readable font so that the users don’t have to squint. Making the survey as convenient as possible for them is the key to a great UX.
  • Break down your questions into smaller portions. It makes it easier for the users to scan through them.
  • Always place the logo of your site at the top left side of the page.
  • The navigation menu should be placed on the left side of the page, vertically.
  • Create a help button that answers any inquiries that your users might have regarding the web survey.
  1. Use of Multimedia

Web Surveys that lack engaging multimedia elements and only comprise of text-based content, often tend to be boring. You’ll have a harder time grabbing the visitor’s attention with such bleak, old-fashioned web surveys, and it’s bound to have a negative impact on your conversion rates.

However, the inclusion of well-spaced surveys – to break up different segments of the text – can make the content more digestible and has proven to have a notable impact on other visitor behaviors.

On the web, multimedia is used to convey additional meaning, especially when words fail. Most survey designers find it challenging to define the “principles” used to create text-based survey question, as they lack expression and are often not fully comprehended by the respondents. Multimedia is known to effectively overcome that language barrier by not only adding respondent’s comprehension but also reducing their response time. The incorporation of multimedia in surveys can be especially useful if used in the following ways:

  • Provide Hyperlinks Where Necessary:

Hyperlinks can be used to bridge the audience to additional resources in questions that rely on background information or require a detailed answer. This technique not only known to provide more accurate answers but it also significantly reduces the survey’s apparent length.

  • Choose Graphics Wisely:

Don’t just include images on random; think carefully before you choose because graphics convey their own meaning. The audience may use this feature to interpret the question in a certain way, so beware of what the images convey and how the respondents may interpret them.

  • Be Able to Justify the Use of Multimedia Feature:

Ask yourself, does the inclusion of the multimedia content assist in solving an information conveying issue and help in overcoming language barrios; or does it serve as a distraction from the main content and survey goals.


The aim of your survey should be to acquire the user’s valuable input without it feeling like a burden for them. Your survey’s goal is to gather important customer feedback, so it is vital to design a user-friendly survey.

Hence, the basic guidelines for a successful survey are: 

  • Designing a mobile friendly survey, since the number of mobile users is greater than desktop users.
  • User experience is crucial in order to conduct a successful web survey.
  • Use multimedia and images to further simplify your survey and assist with language barrier issues.

Author Bio: Simon Walker is a professional eCommerce Consultant with over 7 years of experience. He is currently working for FME Dubai. He is also consulting businesses to help increase their online exposure and conversions.

Designing Effective Web Surveys for eCommerce Websites

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