Mystery Shopping


You may have often heard about “mystery shopping”. But, do you really know what mystery shopping is? Let’s review and find out.

Mystery Shopping at a glance

Mystery shopping is a procedure wherein, an individual or a team is sent to a venue to study certain aspects of service. These aspects may be a few or several in number, depending on the aim of the company and the problem at hand. It must be noted that this location may be a general store, mall, restaurant or café, or even a bank branch.

Basically, it can be any place where clients and customers visit regularly. The main aim behind this is to help the management and marketing team identify shortcomings in service and identify ways to combat the problems. The primary motive is to enhance the experience of the consumers.

Companies may hire mystery shopping agencies to allocate work and make their task easier. These agencies have the tedious work of providing individuals who meet the criteria of the target shoppers and may easily fit into the crowd. Remember, this work is to be done without letting the venue owners know that the person has been sent by the management to make an anonymous study. These are known and referred to as mystery shoppers.

These people are given a prepared set of questions that they need to answer based on their experience and make observations relevant to them while at the venue. Certain training may also be imparted on how to measure the parameters that are stated. Once he provides his valued and unbiased feedback, the mystery shopping agency is entrusted with the responsibility of compiling and analyzing the data.

Finally, it is handed over to the marketing team and management who collectively interpret the results and suggest curative measures to be undertaken immediately or gradually over time. Changes suggested may be short term or long term, as the case may be.

It must be noted that mystery shoppers are not full-time workers. On the contrary, they are most freelance workers who are paid depending on the number of mystery audits that they engage in. Payment is provided as per the arrangement that is made beforehand and since it is not a job or internship, there is no official offer letter or termination certificate.



Skills and characteristics of good mystery shoppers

Not everyone is a born achiever. But, results can be achieved if one works hard and applied themselves thoroughly to obtain excellence and perfection. Similar is the case with mystery shoppers. Certain skills and characteristics are essential pre-requisites to be successful freelance mystery shoppers. A few of them are as noted and explained below:

Pros and Cons of Mystery shopping

However, mystery shopping also has its own sets of pros and cons just like every coin has two sides to it. While the pros are:

The cons include elements that are:


Sources: PHMC GPE LLC - Marketing91 - Coffee Break -