retail sector looks to mystery shoppers for evaluations
Airports have recently been looking into new approaches
that will make them retail shopping destinations instead
of just waiting rooms for stalled travelers. A number of
suggestions have been made, such as offering local
products that represent a region's culture and
implementing mobile commerce solutions that make it easy
for commuters to make quick and easy purchases.
To ensure these changes are hitting the mark, some
airports might follow in the footsteps of the Houston
Airport System, which KHOU 11-TV explains has decided to
employ a service benchmark that's common in the retail
industry - mystery shopping.
"They'll come in, shop the stores, critique them and
then give us the feedback," John DePriest of HMS
Host, a concessionaire in the Bush Intercontinental
Airport told the source.
Mystery shoppers will be coming in a lot, seeing that the
airport system has asked the Houston City Council for
$436,000 to cover the costs of assignments, the news
If the contract goes through, the region might see a
growing demand for mystery shoppers, which can mean good
news for anyone that wants to make a little extra money
on the side. Most mystery shoppers won't get rich from
their jobs, but they can make additional income for
visiting shops and restaurants, often receiving free
products and services on top of cash payments.
Jobs will vary based on the industry and the specific
company, but in general, shoppers will receive an
assignment for an on-site visit. The mystery shopping
company will detail certain requirements, such as
deadlines or certain time frames during which the shop
must be completed as well as any purchases they will be
expected to make.
After they perform the job, shoppers will have to
follow-up by writing specific report that addresses all
of the assignment requirements. Along with the report,
they will need to submit any requested receipts or
photos. These usually serve as evidence that participants
visited the correct location, but also ensures they will
be reimbursed properly if they made a purchase out of
pocket for the task.
Once the provider receives the submitted paperwork, its
editors will review the report to make sure it's complete
and submit cash payments or reimbursements to the
shopper. Although every company differs, most providers
will submit payment in the form of a paper check.