Inside Rakuten Insight – Mobile device compatibility

With device agnostic surveys being a hot topic these days, we thought of asking our Europe Sales Director, Neil Cantle, to share his views on the matter.
Read below for some interesting findings across our panels.



“Are you in a desert? Then be a camel! Be compatible with the reality!”
Mehmet Murat ildan

In our modern post-truth society, it is easy to lose sight of what is real and what is not. In market research too, there are many examples of seemingly real data masquerading as robust market research. Whether that is cherry-picking social media comments or asking the customer service staff what kind of feedback they have been hearing.





A subtle example of where the robustness of data in Asian market research could be improved is not recognizing the reality of the prevalence, the role and the user of the mobile device.




Rakuten Insight spent two years analyzing the data generated from our own proprietary panel in Japan comprising of approximately 2.2 million members. The panel is experiencing increasing feasibility in the numbers of monthly active users. Trends were identified and data analysed.


We can see clear changes and trends in our panels across all age-group breakdowns in terms of:

– The number of registrations via smartphone jumping to 82% (Dec 2018) compared to around 60% just two years previous (Feb 2016)



– The % response via smartphone with most age-groups increasing by approx. 150% but most striking are the older males (50-59 years – 161%, 60-69 years old – 234%) and older females (50-50 years – 227% & 60-69 years old – 355%)



– People who use a mobile device are likely to be younger, more innovative, active & curious, engaged & social.

The key finding was that the panel members have become more mobile oriented!

Yet interestingly whilst only 1% of Rakuten Insight’s domestic (Japan) surveys are PC-only, our analysis shows that 45% of our global clients still prefer PC-only surveys in Japan. Yes, this number has decreased from 63% in 2016 but still that is nearly half of our global surveys being restricted to PC only.

One explanation for these statistics is that global clients conducting surveys in Japan are not recognizing the current reality of the prevalence of the mobile device as much as the domestic clients. The fact that the changes have been vast in a short period of just two or three years mean they may not have been recognized by outsiders looking in.

Strikingly this trend does not just apply to Japan only. The increasing response rate for mobile phones is not only true in Japan but for nine out of our 12 proprietary panels.

So are you recognizing the reality of today’s mobile world enough?





By making all your surveys compatible across all devices you will be able to enjoy higher feasibility and higher quality data from a curious and engaged consumer.

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