Wednesday, May 23, 2012

The Receipt Survey Experiment Follow Up

A month ago I started a little experiment regarding those surveys at the bottom of so many receipts. My initial post can be found here.

I wasn't sure exactly where this project would take me, but let me summarize my initial feelings regarding the topic.

  • I am glad this project is over, I'm so tired of taking these surveys
  • I am glad I don't have to dread getting a receipt and taking a peak at whether or not it has a survey.
That's right. Taking these surveys are a pain. 

When you start, you usually don't know what you're getting yourself into. Sometimes you're surprised by a simple survey (such as the simple survey for a local furniture store I completed when we bought mattress covers for new beds for our kids). But sometimes, you can stuck in a ridiculously long survey. That's how I felt when I did the survey for Children's Place. The kids clothing store survey took me almost 20 minutes, and all we bought was a pair of tights that were on sale.

Beyond the long Children's Place survey, the other surveys that were my nemesis where the surveys at my local grocery store. It's not that the survey is awful, it initially ask you what sections you shopped in and the questions are tailored to your shopping, but the problem is that we do a lot of trips in the course of a month to the grocery store. Sometimes for big purchases, but often we just need some milk. When it was a full trip with a little shopping in every section that survey took forever.

In terms of incentives, a lot of these surveys come with incentives. Often a gift card. If it's a gift card incentive the drawing can be anywhere from $100 to $5000. And in a way, it was the lower price gift cards at smaller locations that made me feel like I had a better chance of winning. The extravagant opportunity made the "win" seem unlikely, and infrequent drawings. These surveys do not tell you when the drawings will take place or the odds of winning.

Another limitation to these surveys was the fact that they weren't very "smart phone" friendly, and usually required logging into a computer which meant collecting these and doing them in a sitting at the computer, which is the last thing I want to do when I get a moment to sit down. A few surveys have time limits on them,  and at times I almost missed the deadline to complete the survey.

So surveys completed, have I won anything or found any personal benefit...nope, not really. Maybe the shopping experience some how is improved by my survey completion, but otherwise all I got was a few discount codes upon completing a survey that I didn't use (thank you, GAP). 

And the one survey I couldn't complete was an Pizza Hut receipt from a airport, despite the website survey instructions, the website required a store number, and the receipt only had a location code that didn't match the character requirement of the site. Shucks! No survey taken.

I understand the stores desire to capture my thoughts (and yours) on our shopping experience, but I have to wonder if there is a better way. 

Here are some suggestions:
  • Shorter surveys that capture more targeted information (as opposed to fishing for information from staff greeting customers, store cleanliness, merchandising, and incentive programs)
  • Surveys that I can take on my phone when I might be more likely to be in a place where I'm trying to kill time.
  • Increase my odds of personal benefit, even if the benefit is smaller (such as take a survey immediately to get a deduction on my purchase I already made, or increased odds of winning even if the prize is a smaller amount, such as $10).
  • Surveys that can quickly capture my previous shopping experience which don't require me to type in excessive information from my receipt (such as store number, date, time, register, associate code, survey code, etc.) 

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