Virtual Mystery Shopping 101: A Brief Guide


Customer experience in the digital world is determined by the user interface of online portals entirely. The ease of using a mobile application or a website generates more customer satisfaction than a complex one. Measuring customer experience, thus, becomes a crucial factor in this era of e-commerce and social media. It is done by using virtual mystery shopping, one of the best digital methods.

What is virtual mystery shopping?

Imagine you are scrolling through an e-commerce portal and have to struggle to understand how to find the items you want. You cannot properly find out the wish list you want to place as an order. The score of that website automatically reduces when leads start bouncing. This is why e-commerce businesses often look for a way to get the interface checked by a 3rd-party team called virtual mystery shoppers.

This is a process where a team of mystery shoppers will visit the website to complete a customer’s buying journey. Their insights will be noted on the inspection list. This digital list is generated by using mystery shopping software and comprises questions related to the aspects of the online e-commerce portal interface.

Based on the inputs in the digital form, the objective questions are scored. These scores are then used as data to generate reports. Based on the analytical reports, the digital properties of the e-commerce interface are measured. Actionable insights are drawn which follow with the required transformation of the online portal interface.

How does mystery shopping work for virtual portals?

1. Determination of interface issues

The user experience of a digital portal can be measured by generating a well-defined inspection questionnaire. It is then filled with proper information. Parameters are scored and the elements of the user interface are measured. The issues are then spotted and worked on. This process helps in making the UX design of the portal better and more resolved for the leads and customers.

2. Getting a 3rd-eye view

The designated virtual shoppers will provide an unbiased review of the elements of the e-commerce portal’s UX design. They will score listed elements based on their true experience as a customer. Hence, a business portal gets an unbiased review to measure customer experience. Employees will not be able to deliver such views.

3. Understanding the pros and cons of virtual services

An e-commerce website will have different levels of virtual services offered to customers. Ranging from listing products and services to customer support, these services need to be reviewed on a regular basis. It is possible by implementing the best practices of virtual mystery shopping. By doing so, e-commerce refines its services and increases its brand image.

Final words

The outcome of this process entirely depends on how the questionnaire is set. The inspection questionnaire should be easier to comprehend with a limited number of parameters. A compact and well-defined inspection list can deliver what an e-commerce business is looking for in its virtual presence. For this, hiring an experienced service provider is a smart step to follow.


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