Mystery shoppers job is one of the most fun jobs there is, but just like any other work out there, it requires a certain level of expertise to be one. Thus, if you want to start your mystery shopping career, you better know the basics of this industry.
Mystery shopping or also known as secret shopping is not your ordinary job. It’s not about literally “shopping” either. In fact, there’s more to mystery shopping than the term itself.
For some people, a mystery job is like a dream come true. Imagine, you get paid to shop! Isn’t that fun? However, what people do not know is that there’s more to being a mystery shopper. Just like ordinary jobs, it comes with obligations and responsibilities. Mystery shoppers job also required submitting reports, as well as meeting deadlines.
More so, according to Mystery Shopper Job Finder, much more than getting paid to shop, mystery shopping is actually big business. In fact, in the United States alone, the industry is worth $600 million, while from a worldwide perspective, the number jumps to as impressive as $1.5 billion.
Yes, that’s how huge the mystery shopping industry is. Needless to say, more businesses appreciate the value of information that mystery shoppers provide. No wonder why more companies are looking for mystery shoppers.
Now, are you excited to know more about mystery shopping and how to land in a mystery shoppers job?
Well, then, let’s proceed to learn more about the industry and how to become a legit mystery shopper.
WHAT IS MYSTERY SHOPPING?
For those who are not familiar with mystery shopping, it refers to the kind of job where a company pays you to act like a regular customer, head on to their stores or if you are an online mystery shopper, you go visit the online website, and then, later on, provide feedback to the company on how the whole experience was.
If you are mystery shopping in an actual store, your feedback may include how clean the store was, how well the customer service was, etc. If you are an online mystery shopper, your report includes how smooth the whole transaction was, how’s the customer service, how well the packaging is when the item was delivered, and more.
To be more specific, some of the things that you will be asked to evaluate as a mystery shopper in an actual shop are as follows:
- The speed of service
- Cleanliness of the whole store
- How long it took for the employees to greet you
- Compliance with company standard, which includes greetings, signage, dress code, etc.
- Names and descriptions of employees
- Listening for particular services or products to be offered
Meanwhile, some of the common things you need to give feedback on as an online mystery shopper are:
- User-friendliness of the website
- How efficient the website is
- How efficient customer service is
- How fast it is for you to make transactions from beginning to end
- How well the packaging was
- How fast the item was delivered to you
Basically, you are being paid to give feedback about your whole experience as a shopper. In some instances, especially in online shopping, you will be asked to buy something from their online store, and then the company reimburses it later on.
Before moving on, check how it is to be a mystery shopper as shared by YouTube influencer, Demi Donnelly. Also, in this video, she shared how much she earned working as one for a week. Click the play button to watch her whole experience as a mystery shopper and get some insights.
WHAT TYPE OF BUSINESSES PROVIDE MYSTERY SHOPPERS JOB?
The main purpose of hiring a mystery shopper is to help the company or the business improve their overall customer experience, which is why it is not surprising that more and more businesses are opening up their doors to mystery shoppers.
However, there are some specific business industries that often hire mystery shoppers, and these are:
- Retail stores
- Grocery stores
- Hotels and resorts
- Car dealership
- Movie Theatres
- Gas stations
- Amusement parks
- Online shops
WHAT DOES A MYSTERY SHOPPER DO?
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, mystery shoppers “work as independent contractors for marketing research companies” by posing as a regular customer. Furthermore, BLS explained, that “these companies provide guidelines for each visit, based on the type of assignment“.
What a mystery shopper does depends on a case-to-case basis, or on what the company needs are. In some cases, mystery shoppers may be asked to “take photos or videos to document their experience“. Normally, mystery shoppers job involves going into the physical store, but in some cases, they may be tasked to do other assignments like making purchases or transactions over the phone or online.
Mystery shoppers usually take between 15 minutes to an hour’s visit. After the visit, she has to evaluate her whole experience. Apart from submitting the evaluation report, they may also include supplemental materials like receipts, to be able to get paid.
For your better understanding, here some of the common information that you need to relay to the company according to The Balances Small Business:
- The number of employees on duty when you visited the store
- How the employees responded to you if you greeted, and how long did it take
- Name of the employee or employees that you get to talk to you have observed
- What particular product was shown to you, and the sales pitch that was given plus any additional items suggested for your purchase
- If you got an invitation to go back to the store or if you were offered to sign-up to their mailing list
- How fast the transaction took
- How was the customer service
- Personal grooming of the employees
- Cleanliness of the store
Note that the requirements vary if you are hired as an online mystery shopper. Earlier, we have already shared some of the things that you have to be wary about as an online mystery shopper.
WHAT ARE THE QUALIFICATIONS TO LAND IN MYSTERY SHOPPERS JOB?
The qualifications for the job varies from one company to another. However, some of the common requirements include:
- Strong written and verbal communication skills. – This is highly required since you will be talking to your employers, and also because you are going to give feedback and evaluation reports.
- Strong attention to detail and organizational skills. – Strong attention to detail is important to ensure that you do not leave any instruction unattended.
- A good memory. – When heading to a store, for instance, you have to act like a regular customer. Thus, you have to have a strong memory to ensure you do not forget any detail that should be reported to the company.
- Objective evaluation skills. – As mentioned, your job is not just about shopping, but evaluating your overall customer experience. Thus, the need for such skill.
- Ability to perform and submit reports on time. – Just like any other job, you have to be able to meet deadlines.
It is very rare for companies to require specific educational attainment. However, there are some companies that hire mystery shoppers, and at the same time, provide mystery shopping training.
Also, just so you know, there are available professional certifications, but normally you do need such certification to land a mystery shoppers job. Again, the requirements vary depending on the assignment and also the state where you are from.
HOW MUCH DOES A MYSTERY SHOPPER MAKE?
We will be upfront in telling you that if you are looking for a high-paying job, mystery shopping is certainly not the kind of job that you are looking for.
Unlike other remote jobs or traditional jobs, mystery shopping is not a high-paying job at all. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the typical assignment of a mystery shopper pays between $5 and $20 per trip. That is if you are a traditional mystery shopper. Apart from that, some payments may compensate only for expenses.
Meanwhile, according to The Balances Small Business, most mystery shoppers are paid by the job and not on a per hour basis. For a simple assignment, a shopper can earn between $8 and $10 but can go up to $20, $50, $100 or even more. Again, it depends on the assignment. Reimbursements are also usually made if you buy or dine in the store or restaurant to have a better customer experience.
WHERE TO FIND A MYSTERY SHOPPER JOB ONLINE?
Guess what? You got a lot of choices when it comes to finding a mystery shoppers job online, and here are some of your options:
Secret Shopper is one of the most popular companies that offer mystery shopping jobs — well, it’s pretty obvious by the name of the company itself, right?
The company is well-established. They aim to help their clients improve their businesses by using mystery shoppers to gather relevant data.
Secret Shopper has been around since 1993 and has earned its credibility in this kind of business. Needless to say, they have been given many awards and recognitions including Mystery Shopping Providers Association (MSPA) Elite award for 2018.
Signing up on their site is absolutely free of charge, more so, you can set your own work hours depending on your availability (which makes it ideal for stay at home moms, if we may say).
To be part of their pool of mystery shoppers, all you have to do is:
- Go to their website and click “Sign Up To Shop” to create an account.
- Read and agree to their “Secret Shopper® Shopper Ethics and Conduct, Terms and Conditions, and Policies and Procedures Agreement”.
- Complete a basic certification test.
- Fill out your personal information (i.e. name, address, date of birth, etc.)
- Once you are done filling out your personal information, you will immediately receive your shopper ID and password. You may use this information when logging in to the side to be able to view and schedule available shops.
Pinnacle has been in the business providing mystery shopping services for around 20 years already. The company specifically assists financial institutions by helping them improve the quality and services of their sales.
If you want to be a mystery shopper for Pinnacle, you have to take note that the company works solely with banks and credit unions. Thus, this one’s an ideal choice for those who are interested in finance. Signing up for a mystery shopper job with Pinnacle is completely free.
The process, however, is as follows:
- Visit their website and click the “New Shopper Sign Up” button.
- Enter your email address.
- Add your basic personal information, which includes your bank account details for payment purposes.
- Answer demographic questions for Pinnacle to find the most ideal job for you.
- Agree to Pinnacle’s terms and conditions.
If you are interested to do mystery shoppers job for restaurants, banks, and stores to help such businesses thrive, then Market Force is perfect for you.
As a mystery shopper for the company, you are expected to give feedback like production selection, customer service, cleanliness, and so much more. This information is taken into account by businesses in order to succeed. So, you better do your work right.
Just like the previous one, Market Force has established its name in the mystery shopping industry, and was, in fact, awarded as MSPA Shopper’s Choice Award for three years in a row, which makes it one of the most ideal choices among mystery shoppers.
To be part of their mystery shoppers’ team, all you got to do is follow the following steps:
- Go to their website and click “Create a Shopper Force Account” wherein you will be asked to enter basic personal information, and also choose a password.
- Answer questions related to your personal history.
- Sign to the company Terms of the Agreement.
GBW is opening its doors to so many mystery shoppers from different countries. The company is present in over 105 countries worldwide. Currently, the have over 400,000 secret shoppers working to provide the utmost services to their clients.
If you are interested to be part of GBW and help companies and businesses, particularly in the retail industry, improve their customer service, all you have to do is follow these steps:
- At the GBW website, click the big red button that has “Become a Shopper” tag on it.
- Select your country of residence.
- Fill out all personal information required, which includes your name, email address, phone number, and more.
- Complete some demographic questions about your address, current job, education, and more.
- Answer questions regarding legal history, technology, where you found out about GBW, and why you want to become a mystery shopper.
- Add your references.
- Head on to your email for your login credentials.
IntelliShop boasts its extensive list of industries — they have over 50 industries on their list! Having such a variety means you are most likely to land in a mystery shop of your interest.
Don’t worry about sign up fees because it is absolutely free to join IntelliShop.
Here’s a step by step guide on you to become part of IntelliShop’s pool of mystery shoppers:
- On their website, look for the button that says “Go,” which is located on the Shopper Sign Up page.
- Enter your preferred email address.
- Read thoroughly the independent contractor agreement.
- Fill out your basic personal information, which includes your bank details where you want to get paid.
- Complete a questionnaire about your demographic.
- Enter your tax information.
- Agree to the company’s terms and contract and you’re off to start mystery shopping.
Sinclair Customer Metrics
Sinclair Customer Metrics has been around since 1987, which is why it is not surprising that the company has helped thousands of companies and businesses improve their overall customer experience.
The company offers a wide range of tasks — from video secret shops to telephone mystery shops.
If you are interested to be part of Sinclair Customer Metrics, here’s how:
- You will need your name and an email add to be able to sign up with Sinclair.
- Read and review the Information for Mystery Shoppers document.
- Read and agree to the Independent Contractor agreement.
- Fill out the Secure Online Application.
- Take the Sinclair New Shopper Challenge.
- Take the New Shopper Survey questionnaire.
BestMark is widely known in the mystery shopping industry. It is, in fact, considered as one of the largest mystery shopper companies there is.
The company offers over 10,000 mystery shop assignments every month, which covers a wide range of industries like hotels and resorts, as well as restaurants.
How much their mystery shopper makes depends on the assignment you choose.
If you want to be part of BestMark’s pool of mystery shoppers, all you have to do is follow the following steps:
- On their website’s home page, look for and click the “Become a Mystery Shopper” dropdown menu on the upper right-hand side. Click “Apply” on the dropdown menu.
- Add your basic personal information.
- Answer demographic questions, and then create your preferred password.
- Within an hour, expect to receive an email with a link asking you to finish your application process.
- Once your application has been submitted, it will go through a screening process.
- If your application succeeds, you will be informed through a welcoming email that will be sent to your email address.
FINAL THOUGHTS ON MYSTERY SHOPPERS JOB
If you come to think about it, working as a mystery shopper is quite a very interesting and fun job. Imagine, you are being paid to shop and give feedback about your overall shopping experience.
But then again, if you will take a look at the job in a deeper manner, you will find that while it is fun, it comes with a lot of responsibilities. Your comments, reactions, feedback will greatly affect how a company or business operates.
Are you looking forward to becoming a mystery shopper? With all that we’ve said, are you convinced now that this is something you want to get yourself into?
If your answer is, then, go ahead and start your mystery shopping career.