Frequently Asked Questions

Mystery Shopping Tips

  • How do I give myself the best chance to get the visits I want?

    We assign our visits based on shopper availability and quality, this doesn't mean that if you are a new shopper you wont get a chance. As long as you have completed our initial certification you will be able to view all opportunities on the system. Make sure you keep an eye on your email for notifications about new visits. ESA Retail will also update their Facebook page when they are releasing visits so it pays to keep an eye on that too. You can like our page by following this link.

  • How can I ensure that I provide all the information required in the comments?

    The more detail the better! If there is a comment required for a particular question then fill in all the information you have that relates to that question. It is particularly important that you also back up any negative scores that you make as the end client will want to know what has happened and what to do to improve service. You are in the position to make a difference in the way you are served in these shops so the more information you provide the better.

  • How do I make sure that I remember everything during my visit?

    This can vary from shopper to shopper, however there are some useful tips below that have been recommended by actual shoppers:

    Read the instructions thoroughly, there will always be key points for each visit. Even if you have done a similar visit before it always pays to read the instructions as these are liable to change on a month to month basis, if you miss anything out then you could miss out on your pay!

    Always make a note of the time before you enter the store. This question is always asked and easy to forget. The same applies when you leave the store, make a note of both and you will never find yourself trying to guess!

    During the visit you will be asked to remember quite a few things. In order to make sure you don’t forget, wait until you are out of site of staff members and make a note of key things in a text message, even if you are spotted this will not look suspicious. AVOID using paper to make notes as this may alert the attention of the staff.

    Do not take your briefing notes in to store with you. If a member of staff spots these your cover will be blown immediately, again, use your phone to make a note of the key points you will need to cover during your visit and refer to it if you need to.

    Make sure that you have a believable story in mind if you are going to be asking questions about certain products, if the staff member is attentive they will probably end up asking you questions back. If you don’t respond confidently it may make them suspicious.

  • What is the best way to prepare for an assignment?

    Read the instructions even if you have done this type of assignment before (details often change).

    Have the paperwork information (small copy questionnaire, address of the outlet) ready ahead of the visit.

    If not provided on the instructions, always think through a good scenario before the assignment.

  • How will ESA Retail know who is fast and reliable?

    The system provides statistics on how timely the assignments are returned.

  • Who do I speak to if I have a question about my visit?

    If you have any doubt at all it is always best to speak to our field team. You can give them a call on 01727 730217. It is better for everyone if you get it right first time round, this will help you get paid quicker and ensure there are no queries relating to your visit. If there is a query you risk getting asked to go back and visit the location again or not getting paid for your visit.

  • How do I return my work?

    As soon as you get back home log onto our Website and report your results to us.  Always do this on the same day as you carried out the assignment.  Timing is crucial to our clients and we will often report to them within hours of an assignment being completed.  It is vital that you enter accurate and detailed observations while they are still top of your mind.  The system is available to you 24 hours a day to ensure that you are able to enter your results promptly.  Results are generally expected within 24 hours of completion of the assignment; however this may vary from job to job.  If you do not deliver your results within the timeframe specified for each project, we may not be able to use your data and pay you.

  • What if I am challenged as a mystery shopper?

    Always have a good excuse/explanation or scenario ready before you start the assignment.  Inform the office via the Mystery Shoppers helpline if you do experience any difficulties.

  • Can I go to another outlet of the same chain if the one I was meant to visit is closed?

    No.  You cannot unless it is explicitly mentioned on the instructions document.  In any case you must inform the office via the relevant helpline and await instructions.   Visiting a different shop without prior authorisation will result in non-payment.

  • What do I do if the store I am meant to visit is closed despite the fact that I am visiting at the right time?

    Please call the relevant helpline as soon as possible. If you leave a message, please leave your name, contact number, the project name and number and any other relevant information. You should also take a picture of the closed store so we can send it to the Client.

  • Who will I talk to for queries and help when I am out and about conducting visits?

    Please always keep the ESA Retail helpline numbers with you. You can always contact our Field Team on 01727 730308.

  • Will I be paid if I do not return the receipts?

    If receipts are a specified requirement of the assignment, payment cannot be made until the receipts have been received.  ESA Retail also reserves the right to withhold payment if the data cannot subsequently be used due to any such delay.

  • What talents do I need?

    There are no specific qualifications needed, but you must be reliable, accurate, confident, calm and you must also possess a good memory.

  • How will ESA Retail know about the Researchers experience?

    The system produces statistics on both what type of assignments the researchers conduct and also their quality.

  • How will ESA Retail know which Researchers provide good quality?

    All assignments will be rigorously checked as soon as they are received and the researcher will be graded based on standard performance factors.

Some of Our Clients