Today, you can use various means and methods to improve sales performance and boost your employees’ morale and achievement at the same time. One of them is through mystery shopping, wherein you hire mystery or undercover shoppers to gather information in your retail stores for your market research. 

Why are mystery shoppers used?

This method has been used since the 1940s, where it was mainly utilized in banks and retail stores to check the integrity of employees. Today, mystery shoppers continue to be instrumental in helping business owners assess their retail stores’ compliance with their company policies and government regulations. 

Sometimes also called secret shoppers, they do not come to your retail locations disclosing their identity and what they came to do. This is because if your store realizes that they are being observed, they may change their behavior in treating customers. As a result, you might not get accurate data and reviews of their actual service. 

What businesses use mystery shoppers? 

Businesses that need an unbiased and unfiltered review of their retail stores’ performance use secret shopping to aid their market research. This method is used mainly in retail stores, but hospitality businesses, such as hotels, restaurants, banks, gas stations, and health clubs, also widely utilize this method. 

Moreover, mystery shoppers are also used by business owners to check on their competitors and learn more about what they do. This includes their customer services, pricing, promos, and other information that they are likely unwilling to share with others. Business owners can gather these essential details only through mystery shoppers. 

Are mystery shoppers good for your business? 

Aside from regularly improving your products and services, paying attention to your competitors and what they’re doing differently can help you make the appropriate adjustments. Your market research will be your guide in doing these adjustments, and one of the people you can count on to help you complete this research are secret shoppers. 

So, are they good for your business? The answer is a resounding, yes! 

When done correctly and discreetly, using mystery shoppers can help you make an unbiased assessment of your employees and each location’s performance. Additionally, you will gain outside opinions when it comes to what you can do to improve your customer experience. 

At the same time, you will have to be careful when it comes to choosing the mystery shopper service provider to hire. Some of them can be very subjective, and you might not get the review that will be useful to you. Moreover, some companies that provide these shoppers do not have strict hiring requirements, so you may not be able to work with professional quality shoppers who follow instructions and gather essential and useful data. 


Many businesses hire secret shoppers to collect useful data from them. Aside from data gathering, these shoppers analyze the data according to your instructions and requirements; you choose the focus of their data collection and review.

You can always do a little market research yourself, but this may be time-consuming and can take your focus off of your core tasks that are more essential to the business. Because of this, it doesn’t hurt to hire a mystery shopper company to help you out. 

JM Ridgway is an established mystery shopper company in this industry. If you want a smooth and convenient experience, get in touch with us today for a free consultation!

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