Sneak peek behind the scenes: A day in the life of a mystery shopper

Published on: Fri, 30 Jun 2023
By: Claire, redwigwam

Ever wondered what it's like to be a mystery shopper? Just how does one step into the world of clandestine shopping?

Well (and don’t tell everyone), it’s not that complicated!

Here’s a journey behind the scenes, offering a sneak peek into the life of a mystery shopper – and some details on how you can get started as a mystery shopper yourself.

Looking for a more flexible way to work?

Nine to five doesn't exist in our world. Join redwigwam and find work that fits in around your lifestyle.

What is mystery shopping?

Mystery shopping is an undercover technique used by businesses in all industries to assess and improve customer experiences.

As a mystery shopper, you play the role of an everyday customer while reviewing various aspects of a business (this is usually, but not exclusively, customer service, product quality, and overall satisfaction).

These observations and feedback provide valuable insights to help businesses improve their operations and provide better service to their customers.

Getting started as a mystery shopper

To embark on your mystery shopping adventure, you need to sign up with a reputable mystery shopping platform, like redwigwam.

We then match you with businesses looking for mystery shoppers.

We’ll send you a brief before each job and it’s essential to read this carefully to make sure you understand exactly what you need to do. Take special note of any pictures or videos you need to take during the call as it is difficult to go back if you miss something.

When you’re signing up for mystery shopping work make sure the agency is legitimate. Look out for red flags and avoid any suspicious or fee-based opportunities.

Trustworthy agencies like redwigwam will never charge you to complete assignments.

A day in the life of a mystery shopper

Before you get going

Working as a mystery shopper is all about the preparation.

So, make a cuppa and review all your briefs for the day ahead. Plan where you need to be and when and double check exactly what each role involves.

Being well-prepared and organised before you leave the house really helps to set you up for success.

Arriving at the location

Your role starts as soon as you approach the assigned business, and your observational skills should be on point!

Blend in with the other customers, while taking note of the surroundings, staff interactions, and any initial impressions.

Remember you’re a mystery shopper, so anonymity is essential for an accurate report.

Evaluating the experience

This is where you pretend to be a customer and asses the areas you’ve been asked to look at on the brief.

This may involve assessing the friendliness of staff, cleanliness of the premises, or the effectiveness of sales techniques.

Make sure you pay close attention to small details and interactions. If you can, make notes (voice notes can work well if you can do so subtly) to capture your observations accurately.

Documenting your findings

After you’ve completed everything required on the brief, and finished your visit, you need to complete a report on what you have found.

You need to give as much detail as possible to provide the business with the feedback they are looking for.

Include specific examples and anecdotes to illustrate your observations, including images/videos if requested to ensure your report is thorough and informative.

Submit your report and timesheet

When you book a job, you’ll be given a deadline which is the final date to make the visit and submit your findings. It is important you don’t miss this date – as doing so inconveniences businesses and means they are unlikely to ask you to complete work in the future.

As you submit your report, also complete your timesheet, as this is how you’ll get paid for the work!

Challenges and rewards

Like any job, mystery shopping comes with some challenges.

Maintaining anonymity while performing assessments and adapting to various business environments can be demanding.

If you have several different (but similar) roles to complete on the same day, it’s essential to be organised and make sure you complete the feedback correctly for each visit.

But mystery shopping is also an incredibly rewarding job. You enjoy the flexibility to choose assignments that suit your schedule, and the chance to earn extra cash while shopping and providing valuable insights to businesses.

Tips for success

To excel as a mystery shopper, you must be able to manage your time effectively and stay organised.

Prioritise tasks and ensure you’re completing reports on time.

Give as much information as possible on your reports.

Embrace opportunities for growth and listen to feedback from businesses to enhance your skills as a mystery shopper.

By becoming a mystery shopper, you not only enjoy the thrill of undercover reporting, but also play a crucial role in shaping and improving customer experiences.

So, are you ready to dive into the world of mystery shopping? Sign up today to get started!


Looking for a more flexible way to work?

Nine to five doesn't exist in our world. Join redwigwam and find work that fits in around your lifestyle.