Despite how many survey invitations you think you are getting while you browse the Internet, there are really very few sites conducting more than a single website research project at any one time. It’s a shame that a company goes to great lengths and considerable expense to bring visitors to their site and then wastes the opportunity to gather feedback from these site visitors to help decide important decisions being made. These decisions are not just about the site design and user experience but can be used to fuel all kinds of business decisions.
I have a technical term for this condition. It’s called Synchronous Website Research Syndrome or SWRS for short. What it really means is no more than one research project in the saddle at a time. SWRS has two primary causes. First most websites today are implementing website research the same way they were in 1999. This usually means you deploy your research whenever your IT department decides to get around to it. Second there is the eminent domain issue that can arise when one group controls access to all research on a website and won’t share because of reason number one. The results of SWRS are that your business either doesn’t ask the business questions needed to make good decisions or the researcher utilizes online panels which can be costly and don’t always represent a company’s customers like their site visitors might.
For years there was no cure for SWRS, but due to numerous breakthroughs and years of R&D there is now a cure. I call this cure Asynchronous Website Research or AWR. AWR facilitates multiple research projects being conducted simultaneously on a single website. Additionally, it changes who controls when and how research is deployed. Tag management solutions are starting to change the old 1999 way of deploying website research, but even these don’t take into account the idiosyncrasies around sampling site visitors.
Tools like Adobe Survey®, Qualtrics Site Intercept® and now our own product OnCue™ are a new class of research technology that we refer to as website research management tools. These tools use tag management principles to deploy more than one research project. Also, they use behavioral targeting techniques to help better qualify the visitor before presenting them with the research. The primary differentiation to other tag management tools are that these website research management tools handle rules of:
• When and on what pages to present the research
• Native opt-in dialogs
• Setting cookies to restrict further participation
• Native display of the research which can be things like showing the survey in a light box over the current page.
The primary benefits to an AWR ready site are the ability to conduct on-demand research at any time, share a sites visitors over multiple research projects so you can get more answers for more groups and finally cut some of your usage of panels and the hard dollar costs associated with that kind of research.
How would you use Asynchronous Website Research to in your website research strategy?