Mystery shopping is a tool used externally by market research companies, or internally by companies themselves to measure quality of service, or compliance with service guidelines or to gather specific information about products and services. 
Market Pulse took this basic form of research a step further & created an online application. A unique Solution to address the challenges was implemented. This was shortlisted by MRSI as one of the Top 5 technology solutions for market research.
A leading paints company launched their programme in 2012 to enhance the effectiveness of their modern trade exclusive outlets. These stores were given a set of guidelines to adhere to. These guidelines related to aspects such as store tangibles as well as responsiveness and empathy of the store advisors.
Market Pulse was commissioned to conduct a mystery audit of these stores; this audit ascertained the level of adherence to performance standards of the stores. This is a pan India assignment which is conducted quarterly. The coverage was in more than 125 outlets in 72 cities.
Market Pulse split up the audit process into 2 phases – store audit of tangible parameters and a mystery audit of staff responsiveness & empathy. Different auditors are used for these two phases and the audit of tangibles was made into a surprise but announced audit. The methodology for the store audit of tangible aspects has been changed from a mere observation technique to visual capture of all tangible aspects with a digital camera. Approximately, 35 – 40 photographs are taken of different aspects ranging from hygiene and store arrangement to availability of retail merchandize. The audit team goes through a rigorous training workshop for digital capturing of store tangibles.
Market Pulse created an online application which showcases all the store ratings along with visual evidence of store tangibles on the firm’s portal. This can be accessed by anybody with a valid login ID from any location in India. The administration of the website rests with the research team of Market Pulse and the main user team of the client.
Visual dissemination of store performance in the mystery audit has helped increase usage of marketing research and its integration with a successful roll-out of an extensive marketing programme of the client. The client is delighted with the application and has shared it with their global office. The online application has helped popularize the programme throughout the Client organization.
This application is now being extended to another marketing programme that targets the general trade.
We at Market Pulse, constantly try to bring new ideas to the field of research.