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Why Should I Bring Mystery Shoppers Into My Department Store?

Department stores are unique, like no other business. Each department has its own manager, but trying to keep track of a massive inventory, all your employees, and customers in every nook and cranny of the store.

With the exception of video cameras to monitor for theft and major mishaps — “Sweaters on fire in aisle 15!” — there are very few reliable ways to see and hear what goes on throughout your store at any given time. So how can you tell whether you and your employees are doing your best to care for your customers?

Macy's Department Store in New York City.

Image via Wikipedia


Hire a mystery shopping company to find out for you. That company will hire and train shoppers to visit your department store and go through all the motions of an ordinary customer experience, armed with a list of criteria that you’ve helped put together.

They’ll put together a report based on your findings, which will give you a good idea of what you’re doing well, and what areas could use a bit of work.

Here are a few things shoppers might look for in a department store:

  • Are employees available to give directions to the correct department?
  • Are products neatly arranged and folded?
  • Are counters clean and registers available in every department?
  • Are the store aisles and other common areas clean?
  • Are elevators and escalators operational?

Good customer service and a logically organized, clean store will likely be among your top concerns, but what your have shoppers focus on is entirely up to you. Let mystery shopping be your eyes and ears in an environment that can be just as overwhelming to a manager as it can to the untrained customer!

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