Alternatives to Intercept Surveys: 5 Other Market Research Options

location based search

When it comes to market research, there are more data collection methods available than you could ever imagine. It makes finding alternative solutions easier if the methodology you were originally interested in isn’t panning out.

For instance, in-person exit surveys are becoming less popular.

Whether it be the shift to online shopping, limited market research budgets, or the need for heightened safety and health protocols for people to speak with interviewers, it is understandable that brands are looking for alternatives to intercept surveys.

In this article, our full-service market research company offers various types of methodologies that are a great replacement for conducting on-site intercept interviews.

Intercept Survey Alternative #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, participants can lead themselves through missions, survey questions, and other research-related tasks.

Here are some advantages of using mobile ethnography as a replacement to intercept surveys:

  • Cost-effectiveness: Mobile ethnography is much more cost-effective compared to traditional research and on-site ethnographic methods. Between on-site staffing, training, and other logistics, mobile ethnography allows you to do more research for less money. 

  • Real-time feedback: Intercept surveys were an early adopter of utilizing in-the-moment market research. But with mobile ethnography, researchers are able to reap the same benefit. Similarly, participants respond to questions when an event is triggered such as leaving a store (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.

Intercept Survey Alternative #2: IHUTs

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, at-home testing is a great investment as it allows 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-qualifies participants for an IHUT through a recruitment screener 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.

Often, IHUTs take several weeks to complete. However, the length of the market research study depends largely on your research goals and objectives.

Here are some advantages and benefits of in-home usage testing compared to intercept surveys:

  • This feedback is incredibly useful in fine-tuning the wording of any directions, working out any bugs, and resolving any issues that may arise.

  • This is especially useful for new product development market research. IHUTs will help save money, time, and resources before your product/service launch.

  • 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.

Intercept Survey Alternative #3: Online Geofencing Survey

If your original goal of an intercept survey was to collect feedback from customers of a particular store, event, or location - an online survey using geofencing technology may be a good fit for your research goals.

Geofencing surveys, also referred to as location-based targeting, allow 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.

The advantages of using geofencing technology instead of in-person intercept interviews include:

  • Location-based targeting is cost-effective and may help avoid any interviewer bias in market research.

  • 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. 

Recommended Reading: How Geofencing is Used for Market Research Surveys 

Intercept Survey Alternative #4: Geofencing with Data Append

Imagine being able to collect demographics, visitor behavior(s), and other such key data points about your target audience without having to send them a survey. This is possible by appending data to customer records.

By partnering with our third-party data providers, Drive Research can provide insights into those people that have crossed into the geofence – and the process is likely simpler than you think.

Once you’re ready to discover more about your audience, our team will have collected a list of those people that have crossed the geofence.

From there, Drive Research will be able to append data collected third-party to each matched mobile device. In many cases, the match rate exceeds 80%.

Critical information such as age, gender, income – even purchasing data in most cases – can then be attached to each matched mobile user.

The advantages of using a geofencing data append service include:

  • It’s generally affordable. Data is often purchased in bulk on a CPM basis. The data can also be narrowed to a specific day or time, as needed.
  • The process is fast, and it eliminates the need to conduct a survey to obtain basic demographic information from thousands of people.
  • It is non-intrusive. The data is appended without having to contact anyone in-person.
  • This service is especially useful for franchises that have multiple locations, or for events with thousands of attendees.

Intercept Survey Alternative #5: Customer Databases

Are you a retailer or service provider that has a customer database? Or have you recently held an event in which tickets were either sold or distributed online?

If your answer is “YES” to any one of these, then using your customer database is probably a safe bet.

Assuming your database records include names, addresses, email addresses, or other trackable transaction data such as from ticket purchases, you can leverage this information in two ways.

  1. First, if your desire is to conduct a survey, there’s perhaps a no better way to reach your customers than by email. From here it’s a simple process to upload email addresses to any survey platform and distribute via that method.

  2. The second method for using your database would be to do a data append to your customer records. The process is similar to the geofencing data append above. In this instance, however, Drive Research would append demographics, purchasing data, or even Mosaic’s Lifestyle Prizm clusters to each record. Whether method you choose to gain more insight into your audience, using an existing customer database is usually a logical place to start.

The benefits of using your customer database rather than an intercept survey include:

  • There is no need to buy a panel. Unless a customer has opted out of email communications, no extra costs would be incurred to use a panel or purchase a customer list for surveying purposes.

  • When it comes to the data append, the service is affordable, and you can choose what variables you want to append to your database. This also accomplishes two things. First, you learn more about your customers. And second, you will be able to better tailor external messaging and associated marketing campaigns to your target audience.

  • Both methods allow you to do business without using in-person intercepts.

Need an Alternative to Intercept Surveys? Contact Drive Research.

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.

  1. Message us on our website
  2. Email us at [email protected]
  3. Call us at 888-725-DATA
  4. Text us at 315-303-2040

elizabeth sincavage author of market research company blog

Elizabeth Sincavage

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.

subscribe to our blog



Intercept Surveys