January 05, 2018
Mystery shopping is a proven method of gaining insight into how a company’s products are being perceived and represented in a retail environment. It has withstood the test of time and companies will continue to utilize mystery shoppers across various industries; but as the cliché goes, there’s more than one way to skin a cat. Traditionally, collecting, analyzing and leveraging mystery shopper data can be a slow and arduous process. Additionally, regardless of how well-trained mystery shoppers may be, there are many limitations to this old-school method, including a mystery shopper’s personal bias and lack of retail sales experience.
Retail sales associates possess a wealth of knowledge and they’re eager to share it. Consumers can do plenty of research online, but they still choose to defer to the expertise of sales associates when making in-store purchases. Ask yourself, where does your company rank among your competitors in the eyes of retail sales associates? How do they view your products and technology? How do their opinions influence sales, and perhaps more importantly, how can their opinions and perceptions of a brand improve?
Mystery shopping data can’t paint a complete picture. If a mystery shopper has a predisposed bias that slants one direction or another, most sales associates will cater to their preferences in order to generate a sale. While they may make recommendations based on their product knowledge and personal opinions, they are more likely to recommend products that are in alignment with a customer’s preferences. Because of this, mystery shopping data will never fully encapsulate bluntly honest feedback.
We say all this to say, what if there was a way to get brand perception feedback directly from the horse’s mouth? What if there was a way to get merchandising and compliance information directly from the people responsible for setting up and maintaining displays? What if, indeed…