A mystery shopper, an undercover customer, is a person specifically selected and trained to visit franchised points of sales to simulate shopping or use a service.


At the end of their task, the mystery shopper will fill out a survey questionnaire received by the hiring market research agency, in turn appointed by the head office of the store where the mystery shopping session is going to take place.

What is mystery shopping?

Mystery shopping is a tool used by companies to gather objective and impartial assessment of the quality of their staff and of the services offered to their customers.


The subsequent comparison of the data collected by different mystery shoppers at the several point of sales involved will allow a complete analysis of the quality and deficiencies in the services offered and to implement targeted improvement activities.


This methodology is applied in several fields: from catering to accommodation, to sales points of any companies whose products are then retailed in mono-brand franchisee shops.

The phases of a mystery shopping session in detail

In the first phase the engaged mystery shopper is informed in greater detail about the specific reality they are going to deal with, as well as about products and services offered by the company.


After that, the mystery shopper will go to the indicated store and will start the “mystery shopping” session.


During this phase, the mystery shopper will assess, according to the survey objectives, the store cleaning, the employees’ attitude towards the customers, the respect of the standard procedures and other aspects related to the relationship with the clients.


At the end of the second phase, the anonymously collected data is entered into a survey questionnaire provided by the hiring agency and transformed into useful information for the companies.

How to become a mystery shopper

It is not always necessary to possess special requirements to become a mystery shopper: you can easily contact agencies online looking for this kind of professional figures and become a shopping…..secret agent!


by Livia Martini