One of the most common questions that we receive from clients is, “where do you get your shoppers”? Our clients want to know where we are finding our shoppers, how much training we provide, and how we choose who gets each shop assignment. They want to know who we are sending into their establishments and how qualified they are to evaluate their business.
Where do shoppers come from?
We have a vast shopper database of over a million shoppers. Shoppers find us through general internet searches, social media marketing campaigns, and very commonly, through old-fashioned word of mouth. We do take the time to recruit shoppers in specific areas and within specific demographics if there is a need for that, and we do that by offering referral incentives to current shoppers, and social media postings, along with other marketing tactics. The reality is that a shopper can be anyone, but as they gain experience and conduct different types of shops, they receive specific designations within our system that help us to identify the highest quality shoppers and those are the shoppers we aim to use for our shop assignments.
It is important for our clients to understand that our mystery shoppers are Independent Contractors and with that status, there are lots of rules and regulations we must follow, to adhere to the laws in place for the protection of Independent Contractor status. One of those rules is that we are not allowed to ‘train’ our shoppers. We do take the time to educate our shoppers to prepare them for their assignments, and while we cannot hold them to the same standards or enforce the same policies and procedures that we hold our hourly and salaried employees to, we are able to provide them with tips and best practices on how to complete their shops correctly. We can provide them with job specifications, but they can use their own methods to complete their assignments.
Our clients have the option of defining specific demographics they want to use for the shoppers coming into their establishment, that mirror their typical clientele. They want feedback from the type of consumer that would be visiting their business. They can dictate the general demographics; gender, age range, income range, and education level as well as more specific demographic questions such as the shopper must have children, or they must use a specific cell phone provider. However, we do find that there is a lot of value in receiving feedback from all types of shoppers, outside of using very specific demographics, as it provides clients with additional viewpoints which can also be very useful.
Our mystery shopper database is a unique mix of individuals throughout the country, across a variety of demographics, representing a lot of different walks of life. Given the diverse assembly of shoppers that we work with, our clients are set up to receive an array of varied feedback and opinion through the reports our shoppers provide.