The Pros and Cons of Mystery Shopping!
You might have seen advertisements by companies looking for mystery shoppers. They are those individuals who pose as regular shoppers in order to secretly gather information about different metrics like store policies, customer service, and many other data points. The process might seem quite secretive to you but when you are on the other side of mystery shopping all you’re looking for is clarity. The brands which employ mystery shopping in India need to carefully weigh the pros against the cons.
Mystery Shopping Pros
Before a shopper or a shopping service is hired brands must clearly spell out to the mystery shopper as to what they should be on the lookout for. If done thoroughly and properly mystery shopping has a whole lot of benefits.
- Competitor Analysis: If a mystery shopper is sent to evaluate a brand along with its competitor side by side, there can be revealed a whole lot of information and analysis on the products, policies, as well as the locations of nearby retail rivals. This person can also try the returning process where he returns a product to the store and check out the company’s return policy. In the field of market research versus competitive intelligence, this is quite valuable.
- Implementation of new policies: When you have a retail store implementing a new policy those policies have to be put into practice. A mystery shopper in India can mimic natural circumstances and observe if the employees are adhering to the store’s new policies.
- Employee evaluation: If an employee is being evaluated by the administration, he will obviously be on his best behavior. Mystery shopping by an expert offers a realistic evaluation of the employees and this is based on how they interact with the real customers and not only their supervisors.
- Informal opinions: Polls and surveys can help in gauging customer opinions but they tend to be skewed towards the positive side. An expert mystery shopper can venture to offer informal opinions that cover everything; products, point of sale, customer service, and displays and also the cleanliness of store locations. Their opinions can be used to better customer experiences and put into effect improvements.
Mystery shopping Cons
- Low volume of data: Mystery shopping is largely a one man job. This kind of shopping trip takes time and money and also because a shopper can visit one store at a time, the data volume is always low. At the end of the day a singular shopper can do only as much.
- Shallow Data: A mystery shopper in India has a personality and he brings his own likes and dislikes, preferences, habits as well as shopping sense to the table. Mystery shopping can tell you how one customer shops but it can never tell you how all customers shop. It is very important that you compare the mystery shopping results to your established customer profile for the best results and inferences.
- Singular experience: A mystery shopper’s venture represents only one instance of interaction between the shopper and the store employees. There might be things like short staff, a busy day or any other mishap that can color the experience of the mystery shopper.
If you are looking for an expert mystery shopper for your brand, you can get in touch with Netrika.in team.