Secret shopping with Mobee is an awesome opportunity to give back to your favorite brands and earn some rewards that you can use to treat yourself to some fun sweets and goodies.
But if you’re new to mystery shopping, you might be feeling some nerves about being able to stay undercover while asking employees questions and scoping out the shelves.
Here are some tips on how to stay hidden so you can complete your Missions comfortably and accurately:
Do Your Homework
If you’re someone who prefers to have a well-thought-out plan and stay prepared, then consider doing a little prep work before you even walk into the store.
If it’s a business you’ve never been to before, then plan ahead and map out the store layout ahead of time. For some, this can help with confidence and security, which is a huge advantage when it comes to conspicuousness.
Though, for others, not knowing the store very well can help you blend in when having to ask employees questions. Workers are likely to stay unaware if you seem genuinely lost or confused.
Create a Narrative for Yourself
If you’re someone who gets nervous on the spot or has trouble coming up with explanations at short notice, then consider creating a character for yourself to play while completing Missions in-store.
Preparing your background story and reasons for shopping beforehand makes it much easier to ask believable questions when talking to employees. Plus, sometimes you may encounter workers who ask you some questions of their own and you need to have answers ready if you want to stave off suspicion.
Furthermore, pretending to be someone else makes it easier to stay calm and keep your story straight, even when you might start to feel a little anxious.
Approach Employees With Confidence
If you’re completing a mission that requires you to ask employees a lot of questions, there are a couple of different strategies you may want to consider using:
Create a story that explains why you need to know all these answers. If you ask a string of seemingly unrelated or too intrusive questions, employees are more likely to grow suspicious of your intentions. Why should they believe that you care about things like displays or distributors? Preparing a good story is right up there with creating a character for yourself and can really be a confidence booster.
If you’re having trouble coming up with a believable story to tell, try spreading out your different questions with different employees so they don’t have time to catch on. This tip is easier to do in a larger retailer where you find multiple workers around the store. Otherwise, you may have to take your time and seize opportunities to talk with different people.
Don’t Draw Any Unnecessary Attention to Yourself
When you go secret shopping, it’s best to wear clothing and accessories that don’t draw too much attention to you. Big hats, fancy dresses, and loud-patterned shirts are fashionable, but also a little too memorable.
The less attention you draw, the more likely you are to get overlooked by store employees.
On the other hand, if you take your kids along with you while you complete a mission, don’t worry too much about them playing or being a little loud. This kind of behavior is completely normal and expected from children and will most likely be written off as just another parent shopping with their children.
Never Tell Anyone in the Store What You’re Up To
The whole point of secret shopping is that your Mission remains a secret, so don’t mention what you’re doing to anybody in the store.
Even if you run into a friend or family member, you never know who else might be listening nearby. An employee could overhear, or a passing patron could mishear and let an employee know that something weird is going on.
Either way, it’s in your best interest to keep your Mission to yourself so any chances of getting found out stay at a minimum.
Don’t Be Obvious With Your Photo & Note Taking
Even in the age of smart-phones, employees may grow suspicious if you spend way too much time taking pictures or typing things on your phone.
The time of using pens and paper to take secret shopping notes are behind us, but sometimes standing there typing on your phone can be a little too conspicuous as well — be careful of where you’re standing when you take your notes and try not to stay typing for too long. This way, it can all just be written off as texting.
When it comes to photos, do your best to take them as quietly and secretively as possible without compromising on quality. Don’t just hold your phone obviously in front of the shelves trying to line up the perfect shot.
One tactic other Bees have used is pretending to take a selfie while the camera is actually facing the opposite direction and snapping a photo of the shelf. To any passer-by it will appear as if you’re just taking a picture of yourself—completely normal in this day and age.
This strategy may not be for everyone but could be useful if you’re being watched or sharing an aisle with an employee.
Secret shopping can take some getting used to, but if you’ve ever felt the desire to complete a secret mission and feel like a spy, then it’s the job for you!
The Mobee App blog has many tips and tricks to help you get started, feel free to check it out today so you can begin your mystery shopping lifestyle.