How Do Intercept Surveys Work? | Market Research Process

Intercept surveys are a type of methodology that can provide accurate and invaluable in-the-moment data from respondents. This might be a store exit survey after a purchase, fan feedback after exiting a game, or attendee thoughts after leaving an event or concert. Here's some more information on why in-the-moment data is best.

Obtaining this feedback as the respondent leaves the event results in accurate recall and responses because the experience just took place. Depending on the type of industry and the access to on-site respondents this can be an effective methodology.

The institution of tablets and offline survey apps to collect data has made intercept surveys much more cost-effective and fast. Without PAPI (pen and paper interviewing) there is no cost for data entry and the surveys can be conducted more quickly.

How Do Intercept Surveys Work? | Market Research Process

Here are the steps in an intercept survey project.


The first step with an intercept survey project or any market research project is a kickoff. This typically takes 30 to 60 minutes and covers the highlights of the process, objectives, and timeline for the intercept surveys. During the kickoff you'll want to select dates and times for the intercept surveys and potential locations. Half of the battle to run a successful intercept survey project is the logistics. This includes all of the planning and scheduling.

Survey Design

After the kickoff is completed, the next step is intercept survey design. If the survey is being conducted on paper this involves structuring the document in a way that is easy to read and follow. If the intercepts are being conducted online using a tablet, the intercept survey company will draft and then program the survey. Tablet interviews make it much easier to add logic and skip patterns. The survey is tested thoroughly to ensure it is ready for fieldwork.


The fieldwork is the next step in the intercept survey process. This is when the live data collection takes place at the store, stadium, event, conference, school, or other location. Intercepts are typically conducted during scheduled date(s) and time(s) with goals in mind. Depending the on the length of the survey you may need to add additional time or interviewers. Collecting an additional 100 surveys will either require additional interviewers on-site during the designated times or additional time on-site from a smaller team of interviewers. Responses are recorded directly on the to the tablet or on paper with data entry follow-up.


Once fieldwork is complete, responses can first be exported via CSV or SPSS. This is the raw data file of responses. Some intercept survey companies will also conduct analysis and reporting. This report would include themes and key takeaways and a potential infographic, respondent persona, and appendix of question-by-question results. The best market research firms go beyond the data and provide clients with insights and recommendations.

Contact Us

Drive Research is an intercept survey company in Upstate, NY. We are based in Syracuse but have completed intercept surveys across New York State and across the country.

Contact our market research company for a quote. Email us at or call us at 315-303-2040.

Intercept Surveys