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Mystery Shopper

Mystery Shoppers (Sales Support Workers) are consumers hired by market research companies, watchdog organizations, or companies themselves. They are responsible for going into retail outlets and taking notes on how their presence is handled. They purchase products, ask questions, or behave in certain ways, and report back on their experience.

Duties and tasks

  • Acting in normal or abnormal manners and observing the responses of salespeople
  • Asking questions of salespeople and gauging responses
  • May help to publish reports on their experiences
  • Purchasing products and taking note on the efficiency of the experience
  • Reporting back on experiences to the company itself, the market research company, or the watchdog organization

Skills required

  • Ability to understand big-picture scenarios
  • Active listening
  • Decent acting ability
  • Public speaking
  • Social perceptiveness

Working conditions

Mystery Shoppers may be hired by market research companies to assist in gauging how specific companies react to certain behaviours. They may also be hired by watchdog companies to monitor companies with suspicious practices, or they may be hired by specific retail outlets to test their own salespeople. Hours may vary depending on the particular job.

Professional associations / Industry information

ARA Retail Institute
National Retail Association

Related jobs and job titles

  • Advertising Account Executive
  • Cosmetic Consultant
  • Market Researcher
  • Marketing Officer
  • Pharmacy Sales Assistant
  • Retail Buyer
  • Retail Manager
  • Sales Demonstrator