Intercept Surveys at Retail Locations | How Does the Process Work?

In order to gather in-the-moment buyer feedback sometimes there is no other choice than conducting an on-site intercept survey at a retail location. One would argue, there may be no better options than in-the-moment feedback. This often occurs as the customer exits the store. These short interviews can target specific product purchases or inquire about the general shopping experience.

All types of market research involve a lot of planning and preparation. Intercept survey projects are often the culmination of weeks or months of work around securing locations, recruiting staff, creating surveys, programming surveys, conducting fieldwork, analysis, and reporting.

Intercept surveys at retail locations offer some excellent perspective into the buyer mindset.

Kickoff and Workplan

The kickoff marks the official start of the market research project. During this meeting you'll want to decide markets, regions, locations, and stores to hold the retail intercepts. In addition to these logistics another item to cover is the objectives of the study. What do you want to learn? How do you want to use the results? From there decide on which intercept survey vendor or company is a good fit for these interviews.

Draft and Program Survey

A draft intercept survey document should be created, edited, and finalized before the dates of the event. It is easiest if the survey document is created in Microsoft Word so edits and comments are made directly to the document. Once finalized the survey will be programmed an intercept survey software and tested. It is helpful if you choose an intercept survey firm who offers offline intercept capabilities so you do not have to worry about Wi-Fi or good 3G or 4G connections on-site.


The survey should include up to 10 to 15 questions maximum which takes approximately 3 minutes to complete. This helps to produce high response and completion rates. If you work with an intercept survey firm they will recruit, schedule, and train the team of on-site survey interviewers to administer the surveys outside of your retail location.

It is required the client will gain prior approval to allow the staff member to be on-site near the exit(s) of the retail location. The interviewer will intercept respondents as they exit the location. Surveys will be administered via tablets 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.

A survey interviewer will be on-site during peak time(s) and day(s) to increase the likelihood of conversions. It is highly recommended the client offer an incentive or reward for participating (free product, gift card, coupon, etc.) Some of the best intercept survey companies will supply the client with an online link which tabulates the data into charts and graphs as well as an Excel CSV file of row-by-row respondents with questions listed column-by-column.


The final stage of the intercept survey project is to conduct your analysis and reporting. Revisit your objectives of your study to create themes and answers around those core questions. Work in recommendations and action items to create change based on the objective market research.

Contact Drive Research

Drive Research is an intercept survey company in the U.S. Our team works with retail locations across the country to assist with on-site surveys. Questions or comments about your next market research project? Contact us.

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Intercept Surveys