US Insights

How long is too long for a mobile survey?

Stefan Kuegler

Director of Mobile and Online Research

Mobile 04.09.2015 / 19:20

clock on mobile phone

In the US, the same survey can take about one-third longer to complete via mobile than via PC

Recently, we've been receiving inquiries from our clients around the world on the length of surveys. With increasing numbers of respondents accessing surveys via mobile devices, one of the key questions is how long is too long on a mobile device? To address this question, Lightspeed GMI has conducted research in Australia, China, India, and the United States. Respondents were assigned to one of four groups: basically, groups for long and short surveys on both PCs and mobile phones.

There are a number of learnings from this research:

#1  It generally takes longer to complete a survey via a mobile device. On average, mobile increases the length by 20% to 30%. In the US, a short survey that took 5.5 minutes to complete on a PC took 8.4 minutes to complete on a mobile phone. A long survey that took 15 minutes to complete on a PC took 22 minutes to complete on a mobile phone.

Key Numbers

  • 7 mins Difference in length between a long survey taken on a PC and the same survey taken via mobile

#2  The longer the survey, the higher the dropout rate. Regardless of device, the longer survey length results in a higher dropout rate.

#3  Dropout rates are higher on mobile devices. Dropout rates for the long survey are double that of the short survey.

#4  The dropout rate is higher for young adults via both PC and mobile devices. Adults age 18-24 are the only demographic to drop out at a rate higher than 20% for mobile devices and 10% for PCs. Young adults are more likely to access surveys via mobile devices, so it is very important to optimize survey design so they have a good experience on their mobile device.

Previous research conducted by Lightspeed GMI indicated a maximum survey length of 20 minutes, but that work was done via PC only. Since surveys take longer to complete via mobile and more respondents are opting to take surveys on mobile devices, Lightspeed GMI recommends keeping the survey length below 15 minutes. This minimizes the dropout rate and increases the likelihood of getting young adults to complete the survey thus resulting in a representative sample.



Source: Lightspeed

Editor's Notes

This article first appeared on the Lightspeed GMI blog on April 7, 2015. To see the data for all four countries, click here. Journalists, for inquiries, contact us. Follow us @Kantar and sign up for our alerts.

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