Why your site needs an Ecommerce Mystery Shopper

by Jim November 20, 2019

Mystery shopping is big business, big enough that the Poms have a reality show dedicated to it, and it should be an integral part of your online store. A lot of the science behind laying out your eCommerce store is grounded in real-world retail. There are lessons to learn that could boost sales.

What I learned

  • How mystery shopping can increase sales
  • Why online should be your most profitable channel
  • The layout lessons from bricks and mortar
  • The knock-on effect of “out of stock”
  • Our Mystery Shopper product


Hey, welcome back, Rankers. How you going? I`m not on Facebook anymore. They won`t let me back in. I`ve deleted the mobile apps because I didn`t want Facebook on the mobile anymore, and then they locked me out of the desktop. So I`ve still got my business accounts and a few fake ones, but if you are trying to contact me, don`t contact me there. Contact me either on Twitter or [email protected] Thank you.

The science behind shopping

I want to talk to you today a little bit more about mystery shopping and secret shoppers, or mystery shoppers, whatever you like to call it. I know in the UK they call it secret shopper. There`s even a TV show about secret shopping, which amazed me, in the UK. The science behind this stuff is so important that there`s TV shows about it to help people increase sales in their business.

And online, it`s just another store, right? It should be, for a lot of retailers, more profitable than all their bricks and mortar stores, because everyone can go to this store. The other ones you`re geographically limited. And the sorts of things that, in last week`s video, I mean, it`s certainly hit a nerve. We had … getting close to 700, 800 views at the moment. But the thing is no one else is doing this, that we can find, in a way that makes sense for retailers.

So for instance, if you have a look at, say, a site like … would it be … Vendhq, I think it is. This is a great little blog and a post about secret shopping, or more about store layout and how you should lay out the store for your shoppers. But the science comes from secret shopping. So there`s a whole blog post, and even little things like there`s some debate about whether you should lead your customers around the store in a clockwise or anti-clockwise fashion. The ways that the store is laid out indicates, maybe, something about the industry that you`re in. Fashion would lay out a different way to, say, what a hardware store would or a supermarket would. So there`s all these sorts of different nuances and, I guess, categories that we`re using offline but we`re not doing online, and that`s what the mystery shopping experience is all about.

So I bet even things like, I mean, some of these have very, very clear parallels in the online world, like ensure your product quantities are appropriate. There`s so many times we`re doing a mystery shop on someone`s site, and the most popular product is out of stock. It happens, but the thing is that all of these things affect sales. It affects your brand. It affects, if it happens a lot, is that person going to come back? What do they think of the experience there? These sorts of things: enough space between products and fixtures. That`s your page layout. That`s making it easy to see the product. So all of this science that`s been done offline hasn`t been done online.

Mystery Shopper product

The mystery shopper product, the reason I`m talking about it again this week is because we`ve had a lot of interest, and we`re going ahead with it. We`re getting about five started. Now these first five, we`ll be putting a little bit more effort in to flesh out the product. So if you are interested, the first five, they`re going to have a lot more attention because we`re building out the product. So I`ll be working on those as well as a few others. The product`s really cheap because we can do it really quickly. And the reason we can do it really quickly is it really only takes us the time to do the shop and then we`ve got a template of what we know works well on retail, and we just take that template, put it against your site, and go bam, and tell you how much money you should be making.

Hopefully that`s helpful. If that`s something you`re interested in, email me: [email protected] Thanks very much everyone for watching and please share and please subscribe. And if you`re watching this on LinkedIn, please share and follow me there as well. And you might be watching this on Facebook. Thanks very much. Bye.

Jim’s been here for a while, you know who he is.

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