Noun to a person employed by a manufacturer or retailer to impersonate a buyer in order to assess the quality of customer service. A mystery shopper observes a store or service center to compile a report on what they have experienced. They complete tasks in an assigned location, such as returning an item or purchasing a product. If you already work with a marketing or market research company, find out if they have secret buyer programs available.
If employees identify a secret shopper, or if a store knows that a secret shopper's visit is scheduled, they can change their behavior. Small businesses use secret shoppers, not just to gather information about their own stores, but also about the competition. As a secret buyer, you might be asked to behave a certain way or to purchase a particular item and then report on how the situation was handled. The most common locations are retail stores, but hotels, restaurants, banks, gas stations, and health clubs also use secret shoppers.
Regardless of the type of business you run, secret buyers can be useful as part of your market research strategy. Companies often hire secret buyers as work-on-demand contractors and may not have the strictest hiring requirements. Another thing to keep in mind is that some companies that offer secret shopping services have a bad reputation. On their site you can learn a little more about secret shoppers, search for fraudulent sites, and search for purchasing assignments from member companies.
Secret shopping jobs can range from retail stores to restaurants, so you might also find yourself in a scenario where you get paid to eat. A secret shopper, also called a mystery shopper or mystery shopper, is someone who conducts market research in secret. If hiring a marketing agency or secret shopping service is out of your budget, you can always do some research yourself. This is information that your competitors are not likely to be willing to share openly, so using a secret shopper may be the only way to collect it.