What are
Intercept Interviews?

A qualitative market 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’ behaviours and provides a level of detail that might not be possible with ‘after the event’ 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 visit 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 ensuring 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.

What’s an example of Intercept Interviews?

ABA conducts thousands of intercepts a year on a vast range of topics. One recent example is the exploration of customers’ response to a new self-service tilling system. Observing in-the-moment experiences and then interviewing customers immediately after use unsurprisingly proved a very effective way of capturing overall sentiment plus revealing the niggles which, if addressed, would make these a winning formula to be rolled out to the rest of the business.

What are Intercept interviews?

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