Do you want to know how much money mystery shoppers make yearly? If YES, here are 7 factors that determine the profit margin for mystery shopping businesses. Mystery shopping is a tool that is used externally by market research companies, watchdog organizations, or internally by companies themselves to measure quality of service, or compliance with regulation, or to gather specific information about products and services that will help them position their business for better performance.

Mystery shopping gives room for organizations to gather reliable and quality feedback directly from a customer’s perspective. It is a helpful business tool for organizations that want to evaluate a team’s customer care performance levels, training budgets and the delivery of company’s mission statements to its core consumer sector.

Mystery shopping is used mostly in the review of customer brand perceptions; analysis of competitors; review of internal procedures and processes; evaluating staff performance; evaluating point-of-purchase materials and the retail store. Having said that, mystery shoppers make money by offering the following services;

8 Types of Services Offered By Mystery Shoppers and How They Make Their Money

1. Related Marketing and Sales Consulting Services

One of the major ways mystery shoppers make money is by offering related marketing and sales consulting services to their clients. They help in reviewing customer brand perceptions; analysis of competitors; review of internal procedures and processes; evaluating staff performance; and evaluating point-of-purchase materials and the retail store.

Some mystery shopping firms also provide operating advice and assistance to businesses and other organizations on marketing issues, such as developing marketing objectives and policies, sales forecasting, new product development and pricing, licensing and franchising planning and marketing planning and strategies et al

2. Monitor and Forecast Marketing and Sales Trends

Another area that helps mystery shopping companies to make money is by offering services geared towards monitoring and forecasting marketing and sales trends for businesses most especially those who are into retailing of products or services. They may decide to gather the data themselves or work on it.

3. Measure the Effectiveness of Marketing Programs and Strategies

Mystery shopping companies also make money by helping their clients measure the effectiveness of marketing programs and strategies that they have deployed over a period of time. Although most marketing and sales consulting firms usually offer this service because it is part of their core, but hiring a mystery shopping company to do this aspect of the business for you will give you with unbiased results.

4. Creative Data Collection Method

To a larger extent, most businesses require unique ways of collecting data and this is one of the unique services that mystery shopping companies can offer. Mystery shopping firms are known to devise and evaluate methods of collecting data, such as surveys, questionnaires, and opinion polls for their clients.

5. Gather Data on Consumers, Competitors, and Market Conditions

Another way that mystery shopping firms make money is by offering services geared towards helping their clients gather data on consumers, competitors, and present market conditions. With this data, it will be easier for the client to make informed marketing and sales strategies and also know the area to channel their energy and resources to.

6. Analyze Data Using Statistical Software

Mystery shopping companies also make money by helping their clients analyze data by making use of statistical software. Interestingly, most of the statistical software are developed by them and in some cases, they develop unique software to fit into the type of business or business model their client is involved in.

7. Convert Complex Data and Findings into Understandable Tables, Graphs, and Written Reports

It is one thing to gather data but another thing to effectively interpret the data gathered. Which is why one of the services that earns money for mystery shopping firms is helping their clients convert complex data and findings into understandable tables, graphs, and written reports.

8. Prepare Reports and Present Results to Clients and Management

Mystery shopping firms make money by gathering reliable data and presenting same to their clients. In some cases, they can sell a copy of the report to another client who is operating similar business or in same industry as the client they originally worked for. All they need to do is just tweak it a little bit.

7 Factors That Determine How Much Money Mystery Shoppers Make Yearly

We can estimate what a mystery shopping firm that offers the services listed above is expected to make but it is important to point that there is no one-mold-fits-all when it comes to how much a mystery shopping firm is expected to make. There are some factors that we are going to look into before giving an estimate of how much an average mystery shopping firm make yearly and these factors are;

1. The Size of the Mystery Shopping Firm

One cannot conveniently state the amount a mystery shopping firm is expected to make yearly if you do not know the size of the mystery shopping firm. As a matter of fact, you cannot equate a mystery shopping firm that is just starting out in business with a well – established mystery shopping firm that offers robust services and operates from a standard office facility with several dozens of workers.

2. The Location the Mystery Shopping Firm is Covering

We must not rule out the fact that the location the mystery shopping firm is covering is a major factor that will determine the amount the business is expected to earn monthly. The truth is that you will struggle to make good money as a mystery shopping firm if you locate the business in an area filled with mom and pop businesses. If you locate your mystery shopping firm close to a highbrow area or an area with loads of businesses, you are likely going to make good returns from the business.

3. The Type of Complimentary Services Offered By The Mystery Shopping Firm

Another important factor that will determine how much a mystery shopping firm is expected to make yearly is the type of complimentary services offered by the firm. You will agree that the money a mystery shopping firm that works with a wide range of industrial players in the United States makes, will be far larger than what a mystery shopping firm that only works with limited businesses.

Please note that a mystery shopping firm that also provides operating advice and assistance to businesses on marketing issues, such as developing marketing objectives and policies, sales forecasting, new product development and pricing, licensing and franchising planning and marketing planning and strategies et al will make more money that those who don’t.

4. The Management Style of the Mystery Shopping Firm

Another key factor that will determine the amount a mystery shopping firm is expected to make yearly is the management style of the firm. Trust me, the results you will get when you are good manager with eyes for top-notch customer services and aggressive marketing techniques will definitely be different from what a mediocre or bad manager will make.

The idea is that a good manager will not just retain their old customers, they will also keep getting new customers especially through recommendations and that will greatly influence the amount the mystery shopping firm is expected to make annually.

5. The Business Approach of the Mystery Shopping Firm

There are different business approaches that a mystery shopping firm can choose from that will greatly influence the amount they are expected to make monthly and yearly. Of course, we know that mystery shopping firm may decide that they want to work alone and do their marketing alone and they may also decide to partner with other businesses that will recommend clients to them.

It is easier to find mystery shopping firms that offer robust services to partnering with marketing and sales consulting firms and other related consulting firms that will recommend clients to them. In essence, a well – organized mystery shopping firm that works with others will surely make more money than a solo mystery shopping firm.

6. The Advertising and Marketing Strategies Adopted by the Mystery Shopping Firm

Another key factor that will determine the amount a mystery shopping firm can make yearly is the advertising and marketing strategies adopted by the firm. Trust me, there are several advertising and marketing strategies that can help a business increase their earnings, but you may be expected to spend more.

But the results you will make will far outweigh the amount you spent on advertising and marketing. Of course, you don’t expect a mystery shopping firm that is engaging in aggressive advertising and marketing to make same amount yearly with a mystery shopping firm that is passive with its advertising and marketing.

7. The Number of Years the Mystery Shopping Firm is in Business

Lastly, another key factor that will determine the amount a mystery shopping firm is expected to make on a yearly basis is the number of years the mystery shopping firm is in the marketing consulting industry. For example, in your first fiscal year (FY1) you might make twenty five thousand dollars ($25,000), in your second fiscal year (FY2) you might make thirty five thousand dollars ($35,000) and in your third fiscal year (FY3) you might make forty five thousand dollars ($45,000).

In conclusion, the amount a mystery shopping firm will make yearly is strictly dependent on all of the factors listed above and if you work pretty hard you can make up to $45,000 per annum running the business. But it is important to state that most mystery shoppers are paid by the job and not by the hour. Shoppers may earn $8-$10 for a simple assignment, up to $20, $50, $100 or more. In some cases, they are not paid but will be reimbursed for certain expenses.

Ajaero Tony Martins