We have extensive experience in face-to-face quantitative street interviewing. Our field force comprises of trained interviewers and we are able to select our fieldworkers by key criteria including age and gender. We use both paper-based data collection methodologies and electronic data capture (CAPI) using Snap Survey software, which ensures both greater confidentiality and faster turnaround of reporting.
Typically, we run face-to-face surveys from 150 samples up to 1,000, but again there is no right and wrong answer when it comes to survey size.
Face-to face-research is still the mainstay of the service we provide to our clients. This can be quantitative research, which comes in many forms such as:
- On street interviewing
- Exit surveys
- Door to door interviewing
All these approaches typically involve using a questionnaire to collect information from respondents, again it is about deciding the most appropriate method to use.
How do you collect responses from respondents in face to face surveys?
The days of hard copy surveys using pens, paper and clipboard are largely over, although there may still be times when this approach is required. Typically, our researchers use hand-held tablet computers running software specifically developed for the market research industry. Responses, once they are entered into the tablets, are held on the machines until they can be uploaded via Wi-Fi to the server. This is a fast and efficient method for data collection which also speeds up data processing and analysis.
What is a hall test and why would you use one?
A hall test is variation on a face to face interview survey. The basic methodology is to recruit people in real time off the street and invite them to an indoor location (the hall) close by. The respondent is typically taken through the survey in the hall with other interviews taking place independently. The environment is therefore quieter than the busy high street outside and can be more easily managed by the interviewer. The hall location also allows for prompt material to be more easily shown to respondents and may also allow respondents to actually try certain products, such as food and drink samples that can be tasted and then rated by the respondents.
What is the ideal duration of a survey questionnaire?
Again, there are no set rules here. The simple answer is that the survey should be designed to get all the key information you are looking to obtain in the shortest possible time. A face to face survey would ideally be somewhere around 5 to 7 mins duration, but the time also varies based on the speed of response of the person being interviewed. Longer surveys can be put in the field but the general approach should be the shorter the better.
How do you choose who to engage with in a survey?
Most face to face surveys use random sampling, so in a high street environment this might mean approaching 1 in every 5 people who are willing to be interviewed. In other projects we may be looking for particular types of people. This is where we work to set quotas. For instance, we might want 80% of respondents to be aged under 35, with the remaining 20% over 35.
How quickly can you undertake a face to face survey?
As with all research, the priority is good planning and preparation. Once the brief has been approved then a number of other actions need to take place. This includes specifying the project in detail, allocating resources, designing and building the questionnaire. The researchers need to be booked to conduct the survey and they may not of course be immediately available. Once the full project plan has been completed however fieldwork for a 300-sample survey should be complete in fewer than 5 days. We would allow about a week of fieldwork for a 500-sample survey and at least two weeks for a 1,000-sample.
In the latter part of 2013, we commissioned an exit survey with ACORN benchmarking against the results to gauge the current status of our shopper demographics and the efficacy of our previous marketing strategy. The entire process was handled quietly and professionally, with ample dialogue between the account manager and the client to ensure a tailored product. The on-site research team were helpful, competent and a pleasure to work with. The report was presented electronically and in person to the Centre Manager and the marketing team and questions were expertly fielded as they arose. I would have no hesitation in using Latimer Appleby again for further research and would happily recommend them to other shopping centre managers, marketing managers and landlords.
Rhoda Joseph, Centre Director | Cascades Shopping CentreRead our case studies