Onsite user surveys

Onsite user surveys are surveys that are conducted directly on a website or in a webshop. The aim of the survey is to optimize the usability of the website through user feedback, but also to get to know your own users better in order to tailor the website to their needs and increase user engagement.


For a survey of this kind, a layer with the survey is usually displayed to some of the users (as an inpage element or as an overlay).


Before the survey is displayed, shop operators should clearly define the objectives of the survey: should feedback be obtained from all users or should specific user groups be surveyed (e.g. only shopping cart abandoner)? Once this question is answered, the survey can be designed.


Within a short period of time, the company can then gather a lot of information about its own users. This includes for example:


  • Demographic data (age, gender, place of residence)
  • Preferences (ladies’ or men’s fashion, casual or chic, and much more)
  • User behavior on the website (e.g. ease of navigation and product search)
  • Satisfaction with the shop
  • and much more


The surveys can vary in scope: from a simple survey with only one question, over a Net Promoter Score (NPS®)* survey up to extensive questionnaires. The design of the survey should be as simple as possible. Radio buttons or checkboxes allow users to give their opinion quickly and easily. If necessary, users can also enter their feedback in free text fields.


The results of the survey can then be used to further optimize the website, but it can also provide ideas for new campaigns.


Potential problems with onsite user surveys


Companies often try to encourage users to participate in a survey by offering incentives such as gifts and discounts. This should be treated with caution – because a percentage of users will simply click through the questions without seriously answering them in order to benefit from a discount. The timing of the survey should also be taken into account. A general survey during the Christmas shopping season (when many new users browse the website) may give distorted results.


*Net Promoter®, NPS®, NPS Prism®, and the NPS-related emoticons are registered trademarks of Bain & Company, Inc., Satmetrix Systems, Inc., and Fred Reichheld. Net Promoter Score℠ and Net Promoter System℠ are service marks of Bain & Company, Inc., Satmetrix Systems, Inc., and Fred Reichheld.

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