Online Surveys in China
If you want to know what consumers want, the simplest way is to ask them directly. You will naturally think of Survey Monkey to conduct an online survey, but this platform has not escaped China’s Great Firewall and is unusable in China. However, there is no panic: you can reach Chinese consumers for surveys through Tencent’s WeChat, QQ, and also contact us for your project in the Chinese market.
Many platforms exist to conduct online surveys in China
Substitutes for Survey Monkey are available in China to carry out online surveys, the most popular being Eqxiu.com (易企秀) that works on WeChat.
With 846 million monthly active users (MAUs) in the third quarter of 2016, WeChat (in Chinese 微信) is China’s most popular chat app and therefore provides excellent opportunities to find out what the Chinese consumers want. A free native voting function is included in WeChat, but you need a public account to launch a survey. The function has strict constraints: no more than six answers and each answer should be no more than 15 characters. However, the process to set up a questionnaire is straightforward, and the poll can be directly integrated into a Push message, so users don’t have to click a link to take the survey. Plus, they are more inclined to participate since they can see the results after they voted.
Other WeChat survey solutions have emerged in the Chinese market. Here are four of them:
- For a comprehensive data-heavy survey that works across platforms, Wenjuan (问卷网) and Diaochapai (调查派) could be used.
Wenjuan is free and offers ready-for-use survey templates if you don’t know exactly which questions you should ask.
Diaochapai is a paid solution designed for enterprises. For RMB 199 per month, you can completely customize your questionnaire (logo, CSS styling) and you are provided with an extensive dashboard to visualize data across users and categories and analyze trends.
- For a location-based survey that can provide instant results, Hudongba (互动吧) is recommended.
You just need to send “hudong.ba” to any user to use it. It allows to integrate pictures, videos, message and location and users can also leave comments, which makes it very interactive. Nonetheless, Hudongba is less appropriate for companies compared to other platforms.
- If you seek for an efficient solution with comprehensive data analysis and good design, Drip (水滴微信平台) (8) will fulfill your expectations.
It offers many functions unseen on its competitors’ platforms, for example, uploading files or pictures as answers to the survey. One drawback could be its numerous features that can make the platform hard to use at the beginning.
Daxue Consulting uses its own online platform to launch online surveys in China
Daxue Consulting can also carry out online surveys for your company in China, from the design of the questionnaire to the analysis of the data collected.
- How online surveys in China are conducted at Daxue Consulting
To launch online surveys in China, Daxue Consulting has its online survey platform. The questionnaire is designed according to our client’s demand, and once it is uploaded on the platform, our team can see the results in real time and monitor them continuously.
According to the target profile of the survey defined with our client, we can filter the results in three ways:
– Basic criteria such as respondent’s age, gender or location can be directly set on our platform
– Filtering by questions at the beginning of the questionnaire (often about consumer profile)
– Filtering when monitoring the results: details of each submitted questionnaire are displayed on the platform (length of the interview, city, date and time). Online surveys in China that don’t fit with target profile are deleted.
To ensure consistency of the survey, our team also deletes invalid questionnaires when respondents have not answered truthfully. We observe how long people took the survey and code contradictory checking questions to detect this type of irregularity.
Charts are automatically generated as soon as the first questionnaire is submitted on the platform. They are used to monitor and get a quick understanding of the survey trends, the type of answers, the profiles of participants and help in adapting quotas. Once quotas are reached, which takes two weeks in average if the target profile is not too refined, an Excel raw data document is extracted. We usually work on surveys involving around 1,000 to 1,500 people.
Our team then analyzes these data using Excel formulas; this step can take until one month depending on the projects. “During the analysis, we cross-analyze many parameters to find out interesting features of Chinese consumers’ purchasing pattern. This allows us to carry out insightful information and not dry data in the final report delivered to our clients,” explains Maya Horin, Project Leader at Daxue Consulting. “Our reports include many quantitative data expressed as percentages, which are more easily understood and more striking.”
- Daxue’s specificities
Daxue Consulting conducts online surveys for two types of clients: consulting companies that don’t have capabilities to launch a survey in China, and companies seeking for a deep-dive into what Chinese end-consumers want and do when they purchase. Therefore, the online survey is a research methodology more adapted to B2C companies than to B2B.
Our pool of respondents in China involves consumers all over the country, from Tier 1, Tier 2, Tier 3 and even Tier 4 cities. In a country where consumer behavior is very city specific, our ability to survey people from all these cities allows providing comprehensive insights to our clients.
The process of designing the questionnaire is crucial to extract information from the poll. “We help our client to build the questionnaire because we know what is important to ask to get information about their consumption patterns,” says Horin. “Questions should be formulated in a smart way so we can cross-analyze the results and bring out relevant recommendations.”
An online survey helps to define marketing strategy, pricing, and brand positioning. It is a research methodology that answers your questions related to consumers with quantitative data but does not provide in-depth insights. Indeed, surveys should be short, and respondents should be able to answer naturally within 15 to 20 minutes according to Horin. “If you want to test a new product or concept, surveys won’t help you know what Chinese consumers think of it. A qualitative research methodology such as focus group discussions or in-depth interviews would be more relevant.”
Daxue Consulting provides other research solutions to get consumer insights
Daxue’s team can also conduct offline consumer survey if the online format is not adapted to your project. We will design a questionnaire and put it on tablets that will be used to interview Chinese consumers on the streets.
Even facing blockages due to China’s Great Firewall, we can provide market research solutions using other methodologies. For a usability testing project, if the online survey requires visiting our client’s website but that the latter is blocked in China, we can organize focus group discussions. Participants would be able to test the site from our computers equipped with VPN, offering us the opportunity to collect more qualitative data about Chinese consumers behavior.