Mystery shopping is a research process in which a person is employed to go to a store and pretend to shop there. In the process, the mystery shopper needs to pay attention and fill out a form at the end of the shopping session. This is a way in which retailers check the quality of their products, the way the processes are followed by employees, and the overall shopping experience.
Why is mystery shopping important?
Mystery shopping is a great tool for retailers because, normally, when an inspection is announced, every employee is on their best behavior and the store looks amazing. However, retailers need to make sure that everything is up to standards each and every day. A mystery shopper needs to act naturally, to offer valuable insights on the form, and to interact with employees as much as possible.
If you implement a mystery shopping program you can see which are the best-performing locations and which stores need your immediate attention. Mystery shopping can also be implemented for a competitor. No, it is not illegal to check the competition from time to time and see how their employees act, how their stores look, and what type of shopper experience they offer.
While it is a great way to get an overall picture of your store’s performance, mystery shopping comes with a few disadvantages. One of the most important disadvantages is that you don’t receive an objective response, because each shopping experience is different. Also, one mystery shopper can only get a limited amount of insights. Surveys and polls offer more insights, but they are not as in-depth as the information you can receive from a mystery shopping program.