Guest post by Jeff Hall, CEO, Second To None
The recession that began in 2007 has affected the mystery shopping industry. Not long ago, traditional shopping assignments were abundant, requirements were straight forward and payments were generous.
What a difference a few years make.
Many retail and restaurant operators have experienced measurable declines in revenue, as a rising unemployment rate and general economic anxiety have forced consumers to tightly manage spending habits. As brands have struggled with losses, many have reconsidered the resources allocated to market research and within this environment, mystery shopping.
This era has also ushered in a new corporate mindset regarding the value of market research, with increasing emphasis on custom research projects. Our firm has witnessed a shift toward non-traditional applications of mystery shopping—the type of assignments that demand significant preparation, instore interactions and increasingly complicated cognitive and observational requirements.
Today’s economic environment has forced businesses to assess their own operational performance through increasingly complicated mystery shopping efforts. While businesses continue to recognize the value mystery shopping adds via critical business intelligence, end-user (client) expectations are becoming more sophisticated.
What impact does this have on service providers, and shoppers?