Offline Versus Online Surveys: The Advantages And Disadvantages

 Offline versus online Surveys: The Advantages And DisadvantagesSurveys! Everyone must have used it at some point in their lives. But which form of survey is the most effective? What advantages does online surveys has and what are the disadvantages? What is the best way of carrying out an offline survey? And how effective is it? In this article, we will discuss the advantages and disadvantages of offline and online surveys.

 #1 Speed

With online surveys, you are not dependent on the postman. The time it takes to send paper questionnaires is also not relevant in this case, so it saves you time. Because of automatic data collection, answers can be filled in at any moment of the day. Online surveying works faster than offline surveying in most cases. In addition, the digital way of surveying is easier than offline surveying in many ways, because the respondent can decide when he or she wants to answer the questions.

#2 Kosten

Because online surveys doesn’t cost anything on paper and postage it makes it less labour intensity. Online surveying is much cheaper than offline surveying. A research by Allen Hogg shows that the use of online questionnaires is 50% cheaper than the traditional offline ways.

#3 Readability

It may sound crazy, but some handwritings are unreadable. As a result, many mistakes are made while trying to copy answers. Because you answer everything digitally, these kinds of errors are easily avoided.

#4 Spam

Yet there are also disadvantages of online survey. Imagine that it would take your respondents 5 minutes to fill in the questionnaire. At the same time they get several request and advertisement in their mailbox. The chance is quite large that your survey will be ignored.

This could also happen with offline surveys - even though you have direct contact with your target group, the respondent can still decide to ignore the questionnaire.

#5 Time

Offline surveying can be done in several ways. You can send the paper questionnaires to people at home, you can question people directly or you can approach people by phone. All these techniques is time consuming which is one big disadvantage of offline surveying. With offline survey, both the sender and participant will lose time. In terms of time preference, people look towards the online variant.

 #6 Anonymity

With offline surveys, it is more complicated to collect anonymous answers. The questionnaires are often sent to the respondent's address. With telephone or face-to-face survey, there won’t be any possibility to give anonymous answers. On the contrary, answers could easily be filled in anonymously than offline surveys. People would also hardly feel embarrassed to give honest answers in through online surveys which is hardly the case with offline surveys.

#7 Digital skill

It is becoming less common, but there are still some people in The Netherlands or elsewhere who have little digital literacy. Did your research our respondents? Reliability is important in surveys and your conclusion might be that it is best to carry out an offline survey instead.

Are your respondents, however, average or above average in their digital skills? Can they get along just fine with a digital survey? Then it would be best to carry out your research online.

Want to keep your survey online? Then check the possibilities by visiting You can contact us to design your questionnaire, distribute, analyze and export. Data analysis programs such as Excel and SPSS are also supported. Do you have any questions? Feel free to contact us, we are happy to help you.

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