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Is Mystery Shopping an Option for Online-only Brands?

mystery shopping platform

In the age we live in, it is not uncommon to see a brand that steers away from physical shops, preferring to only operate online. Especially over the last few years or the pandemic raging. It’s safe and saves tons of money. But how do you really check the quality of service there?

There is a misconception we keep seeing everywhere that mystery shopping as a customer satisfaction method is only useful for physical shops. Where a real person working as a mystery shopper can walk in and test the services there, play out different situations, and hand in the report.

We assure you this is not true. Mystery Shopping and calling are two services that can be utilized both for physical shops and for online-only brands. There is plenty of things you can put to a test with your online marketplaces. In this article, we will explore how mystery shopping can help an online business to perfect their user experience, come along!

How mystery shopping can benefit an online-only brand?

There are a lot of scenarios an online mystery shopper can play out to check the quality of services. They may become an unsatisfied customer wanting to make a refund; or, they could report the poor quality of the packaging to see how the personnel reacts, or they may leave a nasty comment on the socials just to see how the community manager handles the situation. Those are just a few examples, but overall there are several touchpoints you may want to check for an online brand.

1. Ordering

A flow on the website is extremely important with online stores. If it’s not smooth enough, the customer will definitely leave the page. Have the mystery shopper to see to the loading speed: with one item, few, or many; have them delete the item from the cart to see if the website handles it; see how long it takes to complete the ordering process – from placing an item to a cart to processing the payment. 

Look for any pain points that can possibly annoy the customer, and cause high bounce rates.

2. Delivery

With delivery, you may want to find out the following:

How long did it take for the store to ship the item?

How timely were the notifications during the shipment process?

If the store is offering worldwide shipping it is also a good practice to hire shoppers across the globe to check how their delivery works for different countries. With such information, they can easily put up a map with accurate delivery dates for different continents.

3. Quality of the product and packaging

Once the shipment arrives, have the shopper inspect the parcel: how good is the quality of the product and packaging? Were there any defects? Were there some gifts or cards – if the store offers something like that.

4. Return and refund processes

If you are instructed to play out a scenario of returning the item due to the poor quality or wrong size, etc, have the mystery shopper test the process. How easy it was for them to arrange the refund? How long did it take to process? Did they receive their money back? Were they offered a discount for their next purchase if the item they initially receives was damaged? 

5. Customer support quality

If the brand instructed that they want to check how well their support works, make sure your mystery shopping employees reach out from different channels. An often issue is that the support is quick to answer on some outlets and slower on the other. This makes the process less pleasant for a specific group of people.

6. Community management

Community management is an important step for any business: small or big. The way they handle any type of situation on their social media allows a brand to build a certain reputation. You may want to simulate different situations with both satisfied and dissatisfied customers to check if way the brand’s way to manage comments fits their vision.

7. Employees’ professionalism and pleasantness 

It won’t hurt to also instruct your mystery shoppers to take notes on the overall experience with the brand and its employees’ professionalism. You need to make sure you gather as much information, as possible to make sure the brand utilizes it for improving their customer experience.

mystery shopping process

As a market research agency offering Mystery shopping services, you can boldly offer the online brand to get such campaigns. In order to process and present the gathered data in the right way, you will need the right mystery shopping software. Like Checker?

Why you may want to use Checker as your go-to mystery shopping software?

Whatever the point you want to assess both in an online and physical store, Checker has all the tools you may ever need to know. Being a fully integrated platform, Checker allows conducting research from A to Z in one place. Starting from creating an account, hiring mystery shoppers, and later presenting the gathered data to end clients.

As a market research agency, you can be effortlessly professional using Checker. A unique grading system will allow you to hire the most skilled shoppers for specific jobs, built-in QA tools will make sure you hand in only the most perfect information, and a branded interactive dashboard is your way of presenting survey results with style and efficiency.

If you’re interested, request a presentation call and we will walk you through the platform. For more information about Checker, visit our website.