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3 ways mystery shoppers can benefit boutique retailers

When starting a new retail business, it's important to know what your shoppers are thinking while in your store. One of the benefits of a smaller store is the opportunity it gives you to interact with customers one-on-one. However, you won't always get the full story when speaking to shoppers in person. That's where mystery shoppers come into play. When you use mystery shoppers, you can get targeted information that will help your store grow and attract more customers. Keep reading to learn more:

1. Find out what shoppers really think
Want to know what your customers really think about your store? While you could hop online and see what the reviews say, that's often not the most helpful scenario. Online reviews aren't structured and often don't have a targeted point. The responses that mystery shoppers provide, however, will let you know whatever information you need. Say you've just opened you shop and want to attract new customers. You've been attempting a small marketing campaign, but haven't seen much traction. Mystery shoppers can view your campaign, visit your store and report back on what you could do better. If you feel like you're not getting the full story about how your store is perceived, consider using mystery shoppers to find out everything.

Mystery shoppers can ensure the quality of your products.Mystery shoppers can ensure the quality of your products.

2. Ensure product quality
Retailer expert Bob Phibbs reported that mystery shoppers can ensure the quality of your products. While you probably already examine each piece of merchandise before it goes on the shelves, you can always benefit from another pair of eyes. If you want to know how your products compare to those of your competitors, shopper surveys can help you out. With this information, you can decide if you need to switch suppliers or stay the course. Similarly, surveys can teach you about what kind of add-on products customers would be interested in. For example, if you see women's clothing, you may be able to sell inexpensive bracelets and rings as add-on purchases.

3. Test customer service
As a boutique retailer you may only have a few part-time employees - or you may run the shop all on your own. This actually makes it more important to test your level of customer service. With so few employees, you probably don't have a formal employee training program. That means you need to be extra vigilant about always practicing good customer service, no matter what the circumstance. Mystery shoppers can grade you on your quality of service and you may even learn how you can improve your interactions with shoppers.

Boutique stores are small, but they can move lots of products when everything is working well. One way to learn how to improve your store and sell more is to employee mystery shoppers. With the in-depth information that they can supply, you can adjust your store until it runs like a well-oiled machine.