You have probably taken multiple surveys or questionnaires where you had to provide answers to questions based on how much you agree or disagree with something. This type of question is known as a Likert scale, and it’s very often used in eCommerce.
Likert scales are incredibly useful when you want to measure someone’s opinions and get a deeper degree of understanding than you would by simply asking yes/no questions. If you want to know more about how to use Likert scale and understand it better, keep on reading.
What Is a Likert Scale?
A Likert scale is a rating scale that is used to assess an audience’s behaviors, opinions, and attitudes. They’re most commonly used in survey research and typically have 5 or 7 possible answers to one question. Each of these answers is given a numerical score which allows for quantitative data analysis.
If you’re asking yourself what is the difference between a Likert scale and a rating scale, know that a rating scale can have a vast number of rating choices, but usually focuses on numeric responses. On the other hand, a Likert scale focuses on a range of answers on a spectrum.
When to Use Likert Scales in Surveys
So, when and how to use Likert scale in surveys? With so many different types of survey questions, it can be difficult to decide when you need this particular scale.
Some common uses include testing out how people are reacting to a new product or a new line. You can also use it to find out how satisfied your customers are with your store’s customer service. Basically, use a Likert scale whenever you want to measure sentiment about something specific and are looking for detailed responses.
Let’s take a look at some examples:
- Customer feedback. This is one of the most common uses of Likert scales. These surveys allow customers to be flexible with their answers. You can use the Likert scale to measure a variety of customer sentiments, such as satisfaction with your product or service, agreement, desirability, and frequency.
- Employee engagement. You can also use a Likert scale to check in with your employees. See how satisfied they are with how you’re running the business and if they believe something can be changed within the organization.
- Professional event feedback. If you ever hold a professional event, you can use a Likert scale to see how successful the event was and how satisfied the attendees were. With a post-event survey, you can find out the overall success of the event and if it’s worth repeating it in the future.
Can Likert Scales Be Used in Qualitative Research?
Even though Likert scales are generally used for quantitative research, they can also be used for qualitative purposes. However, when measuring the outcomes of qualitative research, you can’t use numbers as you can in quantitative research.
Instead, you should use a Likert scale with numbers along with answers such as strongly agree, agree, disagree, or strongly disagree.
How to Use Likert Scales
To create a Likert scale, your survey needs to have 4 or more questions. When creating your scale, keep the following things in mind:
- Phrasing is important. In Likert scales, you can use questions and statements. In fact, it would be best to use a combination of both to keep the participants attentive and engaged. Just make sure each question and statement is phrased so that it’s easily understood.
- And so is framing. You can frame your questions positively and negatively, and it’s actually best to use a mixture of positive and negative framing.
- Avoid double negatives. Double negatives can lead to misinterpretations and confusion. Your participants always need to know exactly what they’re agreeing or disagreeing with.
- Ask one thing at a time. Only ask about one thing in each question or statement. Double-barreled questions lead respondents to provide partial answers or give neutral responses.
How to Score Likert Scales
Likert scales usually have 5 to 7 items, with the first and last items known as response anchors. The item in the middle is usually a neutral item and you have positive and negative items on the other two sides. The items are scored from 1 to 5 or 1 to 7.
If you use more items in your Likert scale, your participants might find it difficult to decide on one answer because they’re provided with too many choices. With fewer items, you’ll have a more user-friendly scale, but you’ll also capture less detail – so you need to choose your priorities.
With a Likert scale, you can measure a wide range of motivations, intentions, and perceptions. Most scales measure experience, agreement, likelihood, and quality. What will you measure?
Advantages of Using Likert Scales in eCommerce
If you know how to use the Likert scale in eCommerce, you can expect benefits such as:
- Easy implementation. The Likert scale is universally known, accepted and easily used.
- Quantifiable answers. All the answers you get will be quantifiable, making them ideal for statistical analysis.
- Simplicity. It’s easy to make any type of Likert scale for as long as you know what information you’re looking to collect.
Likert scales are very useful and beneficial because they don’t require responders to limit themselves to yes/no answers. Instead, they give them the chance to agree or disagree in ways that show their true opinions. This allows you to obtain quantitative data and analyze it with ease.
But on the other hand, you need to keep in mind that the Likert scale can be compromised if you take social desirability into account. Not everyone wants to share their honest opinion if they believe it will present them in a negative light. So, if you’re using a Likert scale, it’s best to make it anonymous!