Mystery Shopping



Mystery shopping or a mystery consumer is a tool used to measure quality of service or compliance to regulation, or to gather specific information about products and services. The mystery consumer's specific identity is generally not known by the establishment being evaluated. Mystery shoppers perform specific tasks such as purchasing a product, asking questions, registering complaints or behaving in a certain way, and then provide detailed reports or feedback about their experiences.


Tools used for mystery shopping assessments range from simple questionnaires to complete audio and video recordings. While gathering information, shoppers usually blend into the store being evaluated as regular shoppers. They may sometimes be required to take photographs.




We typically conduct mystery shopping because it fills the gap between retrospective consumer research – e.g. among those who have recently bought a particular product or used a specific sales process to discover their experiences. This is because of the problems inherent to surveying those who have recently bought products – consumers don’t always accurately recall all the details and it is impractical to gather the regulated disclosure material firms give them (consumers).





When organizations start strategic planning for their businesses, large or small, they may consider secret shopping as a way to gauge customer experience. Even if their business is experiencing continued success, mystery shopping is a great investment and offers different benefits from traditional market research. Apart from customer experience, if market share is what a client is looking at, they are likely wondering what their competitors are doing. They could send “customers” to collect data about their service tactics. With secret shoppers, one can do just that. Mystery shoppers can provide feedback on the strengths and weaknesses of their competitors, so that they can find out what’s important to the customer and use that to their advantage.