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Method for administering a survey on e-commerce web sites

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000004414D
Publication Date: 2000-Nov-08
Document File: 2 page(s) / 18K

Publishing Venue

The IP.com Prior Art Database

Abstract

In accordance with the present invention, a controller receives a survey request including the desired information from an e-commerce Web site client wanting to have a survey conducted. The controller creates respondent questions based on the survey questions. The controller also selects one or more respondents from a list of possible respondents, such as a list of customer accounts. The respondent questions are transmitted to the selected respondents. Responses corresponding to the respondent questions are received. The controller applies an inconsistency test to the responses to generate an inconsistency test result. The inconsistency test determines if the responses originate from computers or humans not paying attention to the questions. Based on the inconsistency test result, an optional fraud signal is generated. The fraud signal results in any of several actions, including the controller ignoring the responses received from the corresponding respondent, reducing or eliminating payment to the respondent, transmitting a message of reprimand to the respondent, and/or barring the respondent from future participation in surveys. The controller also applies an e-mail validation sequence to the respondent's profile information to verify the e-mail format.

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Method for administering a survey on e-commerce web sites

The use of the World Wide Web has become an important tool for many businesses. Millions of product and service providers rely on the Web for e-commerce transactions. In order to better serve customers, businesses involved in e-commerce must have the ability to collect customer profile information over the Internet. One of the ways to perform this is to conduct customer surveys. Business-to-business arrangements such as that described below can facilitate the administration of such surveys.

In accordance with the present invention, a controller receives a survey request including the desired information from an e-commerce Web site client wanting to have a survey conducted. The controller creates respondent questions based on the survey questions. The controller also selects one or more respondents from a list of possible respondents, such as a list of customer accounts. The respondent questions are transmitted to the selected respondents. Responses corresponding to the respondent questions are received. The controller applies an inconsistency test to the responses to generate an inconsistency test result. The inconsistency test determines if the responses originate from computers or humans not paying attention to the questions. Based on the inconsistency test result, an optional fraud signal is generated. The fraud signal results in any of several actions, including the controller ignoring the responses received from the corresponding respondent, reducing or eliminating payment to the respondent, transmitting a message of reprimand to the respondent, and/or barring the respondent from future participation in surveys. The controller also applies an e-mail validation sequence to the respondent's profile information to verify the e-mail format.

Referring to Figure 1, a method 100 for conducting a survey on behalf of a client. The controller receives a survey from the e-commerce Web site client (step 110). The survey includes survey questions as well as other data such as respondent criteria. The survey may be received from the client device (e.g. a computer accessing a site on the Web). The appropriate data would be requested and entered via that site and communicated to the controller. Alternatively, the survey may be entered into the controller via an input device in communication therewith, as will be understood by those skilled in the art. The controller creates respondent questions based on the survey questions (step 120). The survey is returned to the client for validation (step 130). After validation, the survey is posted on the client's e-commerce Web site (step 140). Respondents' profile information is then validated through techniques such as e-mail format checking (step 150). Accordingly, the tentative respondents are prequalified (step 508) in order to identify actual respondents that will participate in the survey.

The survey is then conducted with the actual respondents and respons...