Creating ECommerce Customer Surveys

People will tell you pretty much anything you want to know—if you ask. Creating ecommerce customer surveys is a great way to learn what you’re doing well and what you could be doing better. While there is definitely a science to producing surveys, it’s far from rocket science—as the following advice will illustrate.

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Know What You Want to Know

The first step to creating an effective customer survey is knowing what you want to know. A rambling survey with no real purpose is a waste of your customer’s time—and yours. It’s extremely important to have a firm handle on what you’re trying to learn so you can craft questions to glean the information you need.

Know to Whom You’re Speaking

While the temptation to survey anyone who has ever bought anything from you might be great, targeting a specific aspect of your customer base is a more effective route to take. If you sell electronics and want to find out why your abandoned cart rate is high, survey people who have logged onto your site, gone all the way through the purchasing funnel and bailed out at the last minute. If you have a group of shoppers who buy seemingly everything you sell and you’re trying to figure out what makes them tick, approach those customers with questions designed to elicit that knowledge.

Let Respondents Know What to Expect

When you ask people to take the survey, give them an idea of about how long it will take to complete it. Ideally, this will be no longer than five minutes and 10 questions maximum. Any longer, people will be reluctant to get involved. You should also include a status bar which counts down, so they can measure their progress as they proceed thorough the questions.

Ask the Right Questions—the Right Way

Now that you know what you want to know and whom to ask, it’s time to craft questions designed specifically to get useful answers. These should be simple, relevant and in the proper context. You also want to keep them short.

If your questions are too long, confuse, or seem to have no relevance, you’ll lose people. Key questions should be open ended to encourage elaboration. So, rather than asking “Do you like our site?” ask, “What are some of the things you like about our site?” Then you can ask, “What are some of the things you dislike about our site?’ You also want to be careful to avoid loaded and leading questions, so you can get unbiased answers.

Structure Leads Respondents to Completion

Start with short, easy to digest questions designed to pique the respondent’s interest and get them invested in the survey. Opening with a few yes or no questions is a good way to draw folks in and keep them engaged. Said differently, early queries should be simple and easy to answer. Then, as they get deeper into it, your questions can become more involved.

Optimize for Mobile

In all probability, the people you survey will be using mobile devices. Make every effort to ensure the format of the survey plays well on the small screen. Multiple-choice questions are easier to deal with on phones, as they don’t require a lot of text input. Also, use multiple pages, rather than one long one to help respondents get a sense of accomplishment as they work their way through.

Creating ecommerce surveys around these parameters will help you get the information you need to ensure your customers’ experiences are optimal. This, in turn, will earn you both repeat business and added revenue. In other words, everybody wins.


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