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How Has Mystery Shopping Evolved Over Time?

According to the MSPA: “Mystery shopping has been a standard business practice used as far back as the early 1940s when retail became a major force in the U.S. economy. Since then it has evolved as a tool used externally by market research companies and watchdog organizations, and internally by companies themselves.”

Companies originally used mystery shopping to determine their initial customer loyalty. As time went on mystery shopping grew into collecting information about the consumer experience in store. Consumers would walk around with clipboards and take notes about every part of their in-store experiences.

This is a way to collect thousands of consumers thoughts, and opinions about in-store experiences. Companies can use that information to adjust any issues you find to enhance your in-store experience.  The possibilities were endless for secret shopping, and they still are today. As the need for data and the use of smartphones continues to grow daily, companies are able to harness the power of technology for their mystery shopping practices.

Smartphone’s Role in Mystery Shopping

Around 2004, traditional mystery shopping hit its peak and slowly began to decline. What caused this? The growing use of smartphones in 2005-2007 as smartphones gained more popularity.  As smartphones became a social norm, they also became a much more compelling way to collect information. This change disrupted traditional Mystery Shopping practices and introduced a new technique: crowdsourcing.

The popularity of smartphones marked today as a time for crowdsourcing instead of traditional secret shopping. Now data collection can be conducted in much larger quantities and in real time. This is something that wasn’t an option when mystery shopping involved mailing in handwritten results. Today crowdsourcing as mystery shopping has grown in popularity and will continue to do so.

Smartphones have had a huge impact on society. You are now able to help the brands and companies you love with the tap of a finger. Payment is faster and mystery shopping is quicker and much more convenient.

Mobee’s Evolution

Now we can take a deeper look into Mobee, and how the evolution of mystery shopping has shaped the use of our mobile app. Mobee is a lifestyle choice, different from a job, you are not required to complete any of the Missions that are available. If, as part of your lifestyle, you go shopping (as most of us do) you can easily incorporate Mobee into that experience. With mobile mystery shopping, you can pick and choose when you’d like to complete Missions based on your lifestyle, your job, etc…  

The Mobee App was released in 2012. Since then we’ve had many updates, new features, and growth. Because technology is always improving Mobee will continue to improve as well. From Mobee 1.0 to Mobee 3.0, the changes are already exponential.

 As Mobee has grown and changed we have added many game-like features to enhance your experience. With leaderboards, achievements, contests, and more, Mobee has aimed to create a community within our users. We strive to create both an enjoyable experience that is incorporated into your lifestyle and a resource for you to earn a little extra money. Mystery shopping will continue to grow as new technology is developed. Mobee will change and adjust to fit those needs too. The ability to make money from your phone with crowdsourcing services has enhanced the mystery shopping experience.

If you’d like more information about the history and evolution of mystery shopping/crowdsourcing, check out the following YouTube videos!



Bobby the Bee

Bobby the Bee is our honey-loving mascot. He currently holds a degree in making Missions, and making honey from Mobee University.