101 Guide to Mall Intercept Surveys in Market Research

A mall intercept interview is just as the term implies. Participants are intercepted in a mall setting for the purpose of conducting an interview. Much of the time, participants are given a free sample of a product or a small reward in exchange for their participation.

Almost everyone who has ever visited a mall has likely been approached to take part in a mall intercept interview, also commonly referred to as mall intercept survey. The data collected from the interview is crucial to marketing research because it is collected in-the-moment.

101 Guide to Mall Intercept Surveys in Market Research

Mall intercept interviews provide access to a variety of demographics and the ability to collect in-the-moment feedback. Including the ability to survey outside of key retail locations.

What takes place during a mall intercept interview?

During the interview or survey, a short conversation usually takes place between the interviewer and mall shopper. Not just anyone is approached for the interview. The interviewer will target specific shoppers according to their observations or based on a random order (1 of 3, 1 of 5, 1 of 10, etc.) Take for example the interviewer is conducting research for a toy manufacturer. The interviewer will target parents with young children.

It is often challenging to get people to participate in mall intercept interviews. A lot of consumers view interviewers as being pushy because of the approach taken to get their attention. The interviewer will usually walk straight up to targeted participants and ask them for a moment of their time. Here are 5 tips to improve the success of your intercept interviews.

Sometimes, the interview is conducted out in the middle of the mall where the interviewer approaches the targeted participant. In other instances, participants are asked to walk to a nearby research area located somewhere else in the mall. Some of the busiest malls in America like Destiny USA in Syracuse, NY are excellent locations for mall intercepts because of the variety and amount of foot traffic.

Mall intercept interviews seek to obtain both qualitative and quantitative data for market research purposes. To achieve this goal, interviewers tend to ask a wide variety of questions, including those coming in the form of:

● Multiple choice questions
● Rating questions
● Rank order questions
● Dichotomous questions
● Open-ended questions

What are the benefits of mall intercept interviews?

Mall intercept interviews and surveys come with several advantages. For starters, it is typically easier to convince someone to participate in a mall intercept interview when compared to asking them to participate over the phone or via email. The interviews are ideal for performing market research in-the-moment as participants may be leaving a store. More so, mall intercept interviews allow the interviewer to verify they are interacting with a real person. It becomes difficult to confirm whether a person is real when interviews are performed online due to advancements in chat bots and artificial intelligence applications. This is never the case with a face-to-face interview.

Another advantage of mall intercept interviews is that participants can ask for clarity on questions they do not fully understand. This is not possible among various forms of online interviews and surveys. If a participant does not understand the question, they have to skip it or answer it to their best ability, which can result in poor market research.

Mall intercepts can engage participants during the actual act of shopping. This is crucial to understanding consumers' thought processes surrounding shopping and what moves them to make a purchase. It is more accurate to inquire when or shortly after this experience took place rather than weeks or months afterward.

What are the disadvantages of mall intercept surveys?

Increasing response rates for mall intercept interviews is tricky. Online surveys allow participants to complete them at their convenience. However, this is not the case with mall intercept interviews and surveys since they need to be completed live at the time of the survey.

To increase response rates, follow these tips.

Use advanced technology

Have the interviewer use a tablet instead of asking participants to use pen and paper interviewing (PAPI) to answer questions. Tablets not only save on the cost of data entry, but they also shorten the interview process for the interviewer and participant.

Conduct short interviews

The shorter the interview, the better. Mall shoppers want to do what they came to the mall to do: shop. Shorten surveys lasting longer than five minutes to increase response rates and engagement.

Look and act professional

Mall intercept surveys are all about first impressions. You get one shot!

Interviewers should dress professionally in an outfit with a name tag and logo that reflects the company performing the research. If a targeted participant does not want to participate, simply move on. Always greet with a smile and start by explaining what the participant will receive in return for participating. Make sure to thank a participant various times throughout the interview.


Contact Our Mall Intercept Survey Company in Syracuse

Drive Research is a market research company located in Syracuse, NY. Our team of market researchers and moderators are well-trained on the best-practices for conducting mall intercept interviews and surveys.

Need advice on conducting mall intercept interviews? Have a question about an upcoming mall intercept interview project? Contact us below.

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Email us at [email protected]
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Text us at 315-303-2040

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