The History Of Mystery Shopping Explained

by Admin on April 10, 2013


Since the rapid growth of the World Wide Web, internet shopping has quickly become a part of everyday life for the average consumer. Instead of heading to the super market after a hard day’s work we’ve become more inclined to opt for ordering groceries online. The same goes for shopping at the weekends, why chose to go dress shopping on your day off when you can order your dress online ready for the weekend?

Now let’s switch back to a time when high streets were rife with consumerism. You would find yourself browsing the shops rather than the internet and in order to gain a review about the establishment you would chat with the staff, but what would make venturing out on the high street worthwhile? The simple answer? Quality.

The quality of an establishment factors on the experience consumers receive when they shop with you, and how do you know how well your establishment is? Mystery shoppers.

Mystery Shopping- The Beginning

Mystery Shopping first started in the early 1940’s as a way to measure the integrity of employees. With the growth of companies wanting to know how well they perform from an outsider’s point of view, the art of mystery shopping was born.

One key element to mystery shopping is that the identity of the shopper is concealed on purpose when they are testing an establishment, this is so employees don’t feel inclined to favour the individual in question.

The Tricks and Tools of Mystery Shoppers

Being a mystery shopper requires more than the skill to ask a few questions and the ability to shop. Instead, the most common tools used for mystery shopping assignments can range from completing a simple questionnaire to handing in a video or audio piece to demonstrate the experience you had first-hand.

Common Day pressures

It’s now become a common occurrence to hear on the news that yet another much loved business brand has fallen in to administration, with this prospect snapping at the helms of many businesses it comes as no surprise that companies are indeed going the extra mile to make their customers happy.

So what does going the extra mile entail in today’s consumer market? It means making sure that quality checks are in place, and one of the best ways to do this is through hiring a mystery shopper. But, as technology is rapidly developing it means that mystery shoppers can provide better feedback with the art of concealed video cameras and microphones.

More and more businesses are turning to video and audio mystery shopping as it allows them to see and hear from the customer’s point of view- literally. Which leaves us with the concept of what’s next? As previously mentioned high street shops are not doing so well at the moment, so it goes without saying that thorough checks will be issued in order to constantly improve standards meaning mystery shopping companies will have to change and evolve to keep up with shopping trends.

About the Author

Leisha works as copywriter who regularly writes for Retail Active. Retail Active is the leading provider of Brand Audits and Mystery Shopping services for premium brands and prestige businesses.

Image source: MyBlogGuest platform

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