This is a recent question we have been hearing from many of our clients. The answer – right at this moment – is YES! Consumers are indicating they are ready to return to face-to-face interviews. In our recent survey, 74% of US consumers willing to participate in market research state they are comfortable participating in an in-person interview.
However, I would have to caveat that resounding ‘yes’ with the caution to ‘be prepared for changes.’ Of the small percentage of consumers uncomfortable with an in-person interview, more than half (57%) state concerns with COVID as their main reason.
“The delta variant / Covid-19 spreads too easily. I am hesitant to be around individuals outside of my social group.”
At SIVO, we are excited to be talking with consumers face-to-face once again, whether it is in-store intercepts or at-home ethnographies. We have learned that in order to protect research initiatives for our clients it is critical to have a contingency plan. Here are a few tips and tricks we use when fielding in-person research in the current Covid environment.
- Continually assess local / state mandates on gatherings and travel restrictions.
- Reconfirm participation close to the fielding date. A participant or a member of their household may have been diagnosed with COVID, or due to increasing delta variant rates they may no longer be comfortable with participating.
- Over-recruits are critical, and need to be planned in higher numbers as compared to pre-COVID.
- Offer higher incentives. It takes a ‘little more’ for consumers to want to speak with you during their shopping trips. We have also seen more recruits who are working from home and need a higher incentive to keep their calendar available for agreed upon interview times.
- Be prepared to flex virtually. This may mean responding to a concerned participant with a change to webcam, or adjusting an entire approach to mobile missions.
The good news is brands and products are looking to consumer insights for leadership in this time of change. Be prepared with a flexible plan to hear the consumer voice..