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Shadow Shopping Company Reveals Poorly-Trained Mystery Shoppers Can Hurt a Business Rather than Help it


NEW SOUTH WALES, Australia December, 2012 – Mystery and shadow shoppers, although a great way to gather data and measure organisational objectives, do not always produce good results. Mystery shoppers who are not trained and given enough direction can collect and submit data with questionable validity due to lack of information, poor data gathering skills and the inability to be objective*. With over one million secret shopping assignments each year in the UK ** – that is a scary thought which could lead to employees being adversely affected without cause, organisational goals being considered achieved when they are far from it, and other serious misuses of incorrectly-collected information.

The Director of Shadow Shopper, an organisation which has collected data through shadow shopping and mystery shopping techniques for ASX 50 clients, national retail and hospitality chains and government departments, Heather Cullen says, “We are well aware that there are many organisations who allow their staff to believe that mystery shopping is simply a fun way to work – getting paid to shop – but we take our data collection seriously, train our shoppers accordingly and make sure that each one of our clients receive verifiable, actual data.”

Shadow Shopper was founded in 2004 by John Brooker and Heather Cullen, both formerly in C-level IT positions in government and business. This is where they found their edge over their competitors – their web-based process and business systems.

What sets Shadow Shopper apart from other mystery shopping companies is that they maximise the benefits of technology so that clients receive comprehensive results within just one business day, guaranteed. Furthermore, Shadow Shopper offers statistical analysis and experimental design instead of anecdote-based services that other organisations offer.

In shadow shopping, an undercover shopper is sent to a place of business where they conduct themselves in the manner the organisation has requested (whether that be attempting to purchase alcohol without ID, asking if their bum looks big in too-small swimsuits or simply going through the customer service process), and then report back. Shadow Shopper checks the reports and releases the information to their clients. Results can be summarized weekly, monthly, and quarterly. Clients can also use Shadow Shopper’s online tools to analyse the periodic results and look for trends that can help them improve their service and business processes.

Shadow shopping programs are tailored to the varying the needs of each client and are strictly confidential. Find out more about Shadow Shopper and how mystery shopping doesn’t have to hurt a business if done correctly by visiting



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