Mystery Shopping

Mystery shopping is a research method used to evaluate and gather data on user experiences with an existing service by disguising the evaluator as a real user, providing valuable qualitative and quantitative data.


Mystery Shopping involves individuals posing as regular customers to evaluate the quality of service, compliance with standards, or other specific aspects of a business. By experiencing the service from a customer's perspective, Mystery Shopping provides unbiased insights into staff performance, customer experience, and operational effectiveness. It's widely used in retail, hospitality, and service industries, where understanding the real customer experience guides training, quality assurance, and continuous improvement.

Suitable for

  • Gathering data on experiences with an existing service
  • Collecting qualitative and quantitative data
  • An unbiased evaluation of the service from a user's perspective


Mystery Shopper Scenario

A detailed scenario outlining the purpose, goal, and actions the mystery shopper needs to follow, while interacting with the product, service, or establishment being evaluated

Shop Visit Schedule

A timetable specifying dates, times, and locations for mystery shopping visits to ensure proper coverage and unbiased evaluation of user experience

Shop Visit Checklist

A list of tasks, interactions or observations, that the mystery shopper should make during the visit, such as purchasing a specific item or asking for assistance

Shop Visit Report

A comprehensive report from the mystery shopper detailing their experience during the visit, while including feedback on specific tasks, interactions, and observations made

Data Collection and Analysis

A systematic approach to collect and analyze data from multiple mystery shopping visits in order to identify patterns, insights, and trends

UX Issues Repository

A categorized repository of identified UX issues, highlighting areas for improvement

Recommendations & Action Plan

Both short- and long-term recommendations for addressing issues identified during the mystery shopping process, along with an action plan to implement the proposed solutions

Performance Metrics

A set of quantitative and qualitative metrics to assess the effectiveness of the mystery shopping approach and track improvements over time

Post-Improvement Follow-up

A follow-up mystery shopping stage after implementing improvement actions to evaluate the impact and effectiveness of the proposed solutions



Define Objectives

Identify the primary goals of the mystery shopping exercise such as evaluating customer service, compliance with regulations, or obtaining competitor information.


Select Mystery Shoppers

Choose appropriate individuals to act as mystery shoppers, ensuring they represent your target audience and can remain unbiased during the evaluation. Provide them with clear instructions about the intended experience.


Develop Scenario and Evaluation Criteria

Create a realistic scenario that the mystery shoppers will enact during their visit. Determine specific evaluation criteria aligned with your objectives, such as employee interaction, facility cleanliness or product quality.


Brief the Mystery Shoppers

Thoroughly brief the mystery shoppers about the scenario, key evaluation criteria, and expectations during their visit. It is crucial to maintain their anonymity and to not have any connection to the evaluated establishment.


Mystery Shopper Visits

The mystery shoppers visit the establishment or interact with the service, following the predefined scenario, and assess the experience based on the given criteria.


Gather Feedback and Documentation

After completing the visit, mystery shoppers provide feedback and documentation such as observations, notes, photographs or any other relevant materials. They may also fill out a questionnaire or survey about their experience.


Analyze and Interpret Results

Review the feedback, questionnaire responses, and other documentation from the mystery shoppers. Analyze the findings to identify trends or patterns, as well as areas of strength or opportunities for improvement.


Report Findings

Compile the results into a comprehensive report, including both quantitative and qualitative data. Share the findings with the relevant stakeholders or team members, highlighting key insights and recommended actions.


Implement Improvements

Based on the report findings, identify, plan and execute necessary improvements or changes to the evaluated establishment or service to enhance overall user experience or performance.


Measure Improvement and Conduct Follow-up

Monitor the improvement progress, analyze the results of the implemented changes, and conduct follow-up mystery shopping visits to ensure continuous quality control and user experience evaluation.

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