China Mystery Shopping is a form of marketing research which was initially used by some restaurant chains such as KFC and Mc Donald’s. For those large enterprises, it is not easy to keep an eye on each unit of the company. So they hire a company providing mystery shopping services to measure their employee integrity and results. Then, the latter company activates a well trained mystery shopper to act as a consumer or a potential consumer in the client company. Thus, they can be aware of existing problems and find ways to solve them so as to improve their management. Nowadays, the content of mystery shopping has expanded. It is applied by research companies as well as companies themselves to measure quality of service, acceptance of a new product or other related information gathered during the visit of a mystery shopper. In order to get more useful information, the shopper would come into a real purchase if necessary and ask different questions with striking resemblance to a true client. At last, the shopper will write a report in which he describes what he has seen and experienced during his visit. The report is written from the angle of a customer who has experienced a whole service, purchased or not.
Before we apply mystery shopping, we should be clear about the objective of the operation of the client company. So, from the beginning, a survey model is usually drawn up to list the information and points that the client wants to measure. This is also helpful in managing the project. The following items are the probable items that a mystery shopper could reach：service, integrity of employees, professional knowledge, security , quality of products, environment , parking situation, etc. For the part of the mystery shopper, he is often given the instructions and suggestions so that he can perform effectively. However, this special work requires also responsiveness and adaptation to changing circumstances. In addition, the shopper needs to be objective, making the best of his insight and skills of analyze. To some extent, mystery shopping aims at getting data obtained through a real consumer experience, which makes feedback more credible and reliable. Nevertheless, it is also limited, for mystery shopper’s experience if it is occasional for him to go to this place.
As the customers’ demand for quality is increasingly evident and urgent in China, the mystery shopping industry, already fashionable for a long time in the United States will become more popular in China because more and more Chinese enterprises pay great attention to studying its own market and improving its internal management and structure. Another reason to choose mystery shopping is that people start to be aware of this profession, mystery shopper, which comes to be a sort of fashion within many industries. Considering that some competitors use mystery shopping services in their marketing strategy , there may be some issues at stake.