Intercept Interviews

What are Intercept Interviews?

A qualitative research method where consumers are stopped whilst interacting with a brand – whether that be in a store, shopping centre or online – and then interviewed.

What are the aims of Intercept Interviews?

The in-the-moment dimension allows you to get to ‘real’ rather than ‘reported’ consumer behaviours and provides a level of detail that might not be possible with ‘after the event’ research methodologies. They typically have fairly narrow objectives focused on revealing behaviours around a specific part of the customer journey and the nudges which might tip things in a brand’s favour.

How are Intercept Interviews undertaken?

Intercepted interviews differ from most qualitative research in that respondents are not pre-recruited to take part – instead they are asked to contribute and the interview immediately commences.

The timing of the ‘intercept’ depends on the research objectives. For example, if the purpose is to understand prompts to visit, then stopping customers at the start of their trip makes sense. In contrast, if the research is about a particular fixture, then stopping people in and around the vicinity of it will be more useful.

Most intercepts last around 5-10 minutes. It’s common, however, for the moderator to ‘observe’ the respondent ahead of ‘intercepting’ them – this ensures that they naturally engage with the subject matter ahead of being questioned about it. As not every observed person will agree to take part in the research a moderator usually manages to complete 15-20 intercepts per fieldwork day.

Respondents are generally invited to take part in online intercepts via pop-up invitations – a bit like when customers are offered ‘online assistance’ whilst browsing a website. The interview itself usually takes the form of a webchat.

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