When it comes to market research, there are more data collection methods available than you could ever imagine!
However, the COVID-19 pandemic has certainly put restrictions on in-person market research methodologies. For example, many organizations are searching for alternatives to intercept surveys.
For good reason too. Market research is more important than ever with consumer behavior changing so rapidly.
Can Intercept Surveys Be Conducted During COVID-19?
Intercept surveys are certainly a popular in-person market research method for companies within the consumer packaged goods (CPG) industry, the food and beverage/restaurant industry, retailers, shopping malls/centers, and even at events/conventions.
Although intercept surveys can be conducted safely with certain precautions, this market research method is outside of many interviewers and respondents’ comfort levels right now.
These market research methodologies include mobile ethnography, in-home usage testing (IHUT), and online geofencing survey.
Alternative to Intercept Surveys #1: Mobile Ethnography
For a good reason, mobile ethnography has become one of the latest trends in market research. Smartphone users can use their devices to give researchers insight into their worlds through photos and videos.
Like intercept surveys, mobile ethnography can take place on-site, in a natural environment. But instead of a survey interviewer asking the respondents questions, mobile ethnography participants can lead themselves through missions, survey questions, and other research-related tasks.
Here are some advantages to using mobile ethnography in market research:
- Cost-effectiveness: Mobile ethnography is much more cost-effective compared to traditional, on-site ethnographic research methods. Between on-site staffing, training, and other logistics, mobile ethnography allows you to do more research for less money.
- Real-time feedback: When using mobile ethnography, you’re able to ask participants to respond to questions in-the-moment, not hours, days, or weeks after the experience.
- Better insight: Consumers are now able to take your brand along with them through their experiences and decision-making processes. The videos and pictures submitted by participants will be extremely useful in understanding consumer behavior and formulating better consumer insights.
Watch this 60-second video to learn more about the benefits of this alternative market research option for intercept surveys.
Alternative to Intercept Surveys #2: In-Home Usage Testing (IHUT)
In-home usage testing (IHUT) is a great way to collect feedback on concepts, products, and services.
Rather than asking a customer a few questions about a product that they may have never seen or heard about on-site, IHUTs allow your brand to have a better understanding of how your potential customers will use your product in their lives over time.
Whether you’re still in the product development process or ready to launch your new product, IHUTs are a great investment as they allow you to collect more in-depth information and help you avoid any mishaps upon the launch of your product.
How exactly does an IHUT work?
Typically, Drive Research pre-screens participants for an IHUT through an online survey. Once participants have qualified, their participation is confirmed in the study and sent the product or service.
Throughout the duration of the in-home usage test, the participant will complete short surveys and polls about their experiences with your product, concept, or service.
This feedback is incredibly useful in fine-tuning the wording of any directions, working out any bugs, and resolving any issues that may arise.
Often, IHUTs take several weeks to complete. However, the length of the market research study depends largely on your research goals and objectives.
Bonus tip: Upon completion of the study, you’re able to ask participants to review your product, which your company can use on your website and in marketing efforts to build your credibility.
This is especially useful if you’re trying to launch a new product or service.
Alternative to Intercept Surveys #3: Online Geofencing Survey
If your original goal of an intercept survey was to collect feedback from customers of a particular store, an online survey using geofencing technology may be a good fit for your research goals.
Geofencing, also referred to as location-based targeting, allows researchers to create a virtual boundary around specific geography.
When devices cross or spend specific amounts of time within these boundaries, researchers can send them a pre-programmed pushed notification, inviting them to take the survey.
What are the advantages of using geofencing technology to conduct market research?
Geofencing is a great alternative to intercept surveys! Location-based targeting is cost-effective and may help avoid any interviewer bias.
This method of inviting customers to participate in an online survey can be especially useful when trying to profile customers of a store or better understand customer experiences.
For example, if a national retailer wants to survey customers across the U.S. to understand customer satisfaction, the retailer could work with a market research firm, like Drive Research to set up an online survey with geofencing capabilities.
By doing so, the need for hundreds of survey interviewers is eliminated while still collecting feedback from a large number of customers.
Drive Research is a full-service market research company. Our experts are qualified in both quantitative and qualitative research methods. Our market research firm can recommend the best research option based on your objectives, timeline, and budget.
To contact our team, use one of the four methods below.
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Elizabeth has a curious mind and is never afraid to ask “why?” She discovered her passion for research and exploring data while completing her bachelor’s degree at Marist College. As a researcher, she believes you’re never truly done learning.