Retail Store Intercept Surveys, Customer Surveys, and Market Surveys

Drive Research works with a number of retail organizations across the United States to assist with both qualitative and quantitative market research projects. This post is an example of how a retail market research project could look like where both intercept surveys and online surveys are recommended for different reasons. For this particular theoretical client, it had several objectives in mind which were best addressed through these two methodologies.

The following post is a theoretical case study for a retail store in the tri-state area who was looking to use market research to help drive decision-making and strategy. Retail intercept surveys, customer surveys, and market surveys offer a lot of value and insight for strategy and next steps for a business.

retail store intercept surveys customer surveys | store shoppers

Intercept surveys and online surveys are two excellent options for a retail organization to collect feedback from buyers and potential buyers.

Objectives and Approach

Retail organizations often hire a market research company to assist with survey projects. Objectives typically center around understanding drivers for store visits, where else customers are shopping, return visit and loyalty motivations, improvements to better serve customers, and growth areas for new target customer profiles. These and other secondary objectives are addressed in the market research conducted by Drive Research. The findings and insights will provide the client with statistically reliable and measurable feedback to assist with operations, marketing, and strategy.

For these objectives at-hand, Drive Research would recommend 3 potential approaches: (1) an exit survey administered to live customers at retail locations, (2) an online survey to customers of the brand, and (3) a market survey to non-customers.

The intercept survey option is highly recommended because the survey team will be intercepting customers who visited the store in-the-moment and it would address the majority of key objectives. The survey options would provide further depth and a more comprehensive view of all goals for the client beyond just store visitor metrics.

Drive Research follows an exclusive in-house approach our team has built for market research projects. Our method uses a step-by-step and task-oriented approach to project management from kickoff through completion. Each step is detailed on the following pages of this proposal.

Intercept Surveys

For the intercept survey portion of the project, here is an explanation of how the step-by-step process would work. A draft intercept survey document will be created and finalized with the client prior to the on-site interviews. The survey document will be sent in Word so edits and comments are made directly to the document. Once finalized the survey will be programmed into our intercept survey software and tested. The survey is expected to include 10 to 15 questions (maximum) to make the experience quick and engaging as possible to produce high response rates.

Drive Research will train on-site survey interviewer to administer the surveys near the exits of the retail locations. It is required the client will gain prior approval to allow the staff member to be on-site near the exit(s). Surveys will be administered via tablet through an offline connection (no Wi-Fi or 3G/4G necessary). This helps with the speed of the survey and moving from question-to-question. Results are downloaded and synced after fieldwork is closed.

A survey interviewer will be on-site during peak time(s) and day(s) to increase the likelihood of conversions. Additional blocks of time can be purchased if needed. Ratios of those who participate in intercepts range from 1:3 to 1:10. Although it is highly dependent on traffic, a total of 5 to 10 completes per hour is a reasonable goal if there is heavy traffic. This translates to an estimated 10 hours of time to obtain 100 responses for each wave. Options are often provided for 200 and 400 responses.

It is highly recommended the client offer an incentive or reward for participating (free gift, gift card, coupon, etc.) A total of 100 responses is an approximate +/- 10% margin of error. This means if the survey was randomly conducted with another 100 participants on any given day, results would yield within 10% of their stated totals. 200 responses offers a +/- 7% margin of error and 400 responses offers a best practice +/- 5% margin of error. A +/- 5% margin of error is considered the industry standard in market research.

Customer Surveys

A second option for the client is an online survey with customers. Drive Research will utilize the feedback obtained from the kickoff meeting to create a draft survey document in Word. This survey will address the key objectives of research based on the customized needs of the client. This is similar to the process used for the intercept survey option. Whereas the intercept survey is excellent at capturing in-the-moment feedback for drivers to store visits and improvements, the online survey is a cost-effective way of acquiring feedback on loyalty metrics and competitive usage. This email surveys offers the ability to ask more and a broader array of question topics unbiased by an on-site visit that day.

The survey document can undergo as many edits as needed to finalize before online programming begins. Once the online survey document is finalized, it will be programmed into our online survey software and tested. The survey will be PC, mobile, and tablet-friendly. The test link will also be sent to the client for review so the team can view the survey as if they were a respondent participating.

The survey is expected to include 15 to 20 questions. This will include 1 open-ended question for survey since responses are analyzed and coded in the report. This includes a few pre qualification and screener questions to ensure participants meet our target profile. After internal testing of the online survey, Drive Research will run a test drive to a small sample of respondents to ensure everything is working correctly. After a successful soft-launch, the full launch will begin.

Drive Research will administer the survey to customers of the women retail brand (e.g. loyalty cards, newsletter emails, CRM contact details, etc.) This list can be passed to Drive Research as a simple CSV file through a secure link. The client is encouraged to offer an incentive for participating (free gift, gift card, coupon, etc.) in order to make this approach successful (at least a $250 value).

The total number of responses is dependent on the size of the customer contact database. Since the effort the effort is the same, there is no additional charge for 100 responses versus 1,000 responses which offers tremendous value for the client.

Market Surveys

The final recommendation for the client is using a market survey sent to targeted geographies. This may be specific DMAs or a radius around each store location. Invites are directed to the target market through two different approaches. This includes: (1) an email blast to participants who live in the region and (2) paid social media posts (ads) shown to a random population of users who match the geography and profile target for the client. This is used often by Drive Research and our team of analysts are experts in digital targeting.

The main goal of this survey will be to understand core non-customer metrics for the client. This includes a better understand of awareness, perception, brand image, and likelihood to shop at the client stores. It can also address competitive usage and help the client identify key target market profiles and segments of women they may be missing in their current customer base. This is a more appropriate survey to address competitive usage and other ancillary brand image data.

There will be an incentive for participating in order to make this approach successful. This reward will be includes as part of the outreach by Drive Research. For the rented email list this reward is similar to credit card points. For social media respondents, several gift cards will be raffled off to encourage participation.

Options have been provided for 100 responses and 250 responses. A total of 100 responses is an approximate +/- 10% margin of error. This means if the survey was randomly conducted with another 100 participants on any given day, results would yield within 10% of their stated totals. 250 responses offers a +/- 7% margin of error.

Contact Drive Research

Drive Research is a retail market research company located in Syracuse, NY. We work with retail organizations across the U.S. to assist with retail market research projects such as intercept surveys, customer surveys, and mystery shopping or secret shopping programs.

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Intercept Surveys