Measuring Up: Impact of mobile and segmentation on respondent behaviour

Aaron Jue and Kristin Luck


In 2007, Apple introduced the iPhone. Since then, smartphone sales have experienced tremendous growth. IDC recorded 491 million global smartphone shipments in 2011 and predicts that figure to rise to 1.5 billion by the end of 2017.

Just as the internet transformed market research over a decade ago, mobile growth is challenging the way we think about survey design, how our surveys are being taken and the quality of data that we collect from the mobile user.

At Decipher we've been tracking many of our client studies to get a better understanding of the online mobile survey taking population. Since 2011, we've reviewed nearly 100 separate studies, representing data from over two million survey respondents. These studies were consumer-centric and largely sampled customers from eCommerce firms like eBay. They range from the very short to the very complex. Furthermore, we confined our investigation to traditional online studies--surveys that were compatible with, but not optimized for the mobile platform. No special design considerations were given for mobile users, but respondents could access the surveys using either a PC or mobile device. Without designing a study that caters to the mobile user, the results presented here thus represent a baseline of sorts. How many mobile users would we encounter? And how would this emerging population react to our online surveys?

How many are accessing online surveys using a mobile device?