In-Store Intercept is a research technique that is used to gain insights from shoppers in a retail environment. It involves talking to shoppers at the moment of purchase (in-store) so hence the name intercept.
Intercepts are useful because you can capture behaviour and motivations in the moment. Asking shoppers to recall their behaviour and influences in a recall interview that may occur days or weeks later obviously tests their memory and is prone to inaccuracies and potential rationalisation or generalisation.
Intercepts can be qualitative or quantitative, however the time spent with the shopper needs to be short to be respectful of their time. Intercepts also require retailer permission; this is often hard to obtain as many retailers don’t like their customers to be interrupted with market research during a shopping trip.
Closely related to the in-store intercept is an “exit interview”, this is conducted once a shopper has left a retailer. Since these are conducted off premise they do not always require retailer permission.