Overview: Shoppers that are interested in looking at and learning about what kind of new techno toys are out there on the market will want to check out this assignment.
There is a bewildering array of desktop computers, laptops, e-readers, video games, tablets, and mp3 players available. It seems like every month there are new advances, offering the consumer more features and uses. This is your chance to get caught up on the latest and greatest.
Project Variations: There are several basic scenarios used in mystery shopping electronics.
The simplest has the shopper visiting a department of a store such as an office supply business to ask about one item in the electronics section. Many times this item is for a laptop or an e-reader.
The more in-depth scenario requires the shopper to visit a big box store specializing in electronics. Usually the shopper will be required to visit two departments. Most likely, the shopper will have one interaction in the computer department and another in large appliances.
The final scenario is of benefit to shoppers who have computers needing a little TLC. This visit entails the shopper bringing in their own laptop for a tune-up.
Visit & Reporting Requirements: The single department scenario usually takes about 20 minutes on-site, and about the same for the report. The big box store scenario can take up to 45 minutes for the visit, and about half that for the report.
The computer tune-up scenario requires two visits, one to drop off your laptop and one to pick it up. Both visits take about 10 minutes, and the report for each is about 15 minutes.
Strategies: For the item inquiry scenarios, prepare questions ahead of time after reviewing your assignment instructions. If you are not technology-savvy, that’s OK. You can honestly admit that to the sales associate, and hopefully they will explain in understandable terms the features of the item.
It’s also acceptable to take notes, as many consumers do this when they are comparing items from retailer to retailer. Get model numbers and pricing, as well as waiting times to be assisted. Give a good listen for how the sales associate tries to close the sale. Many clients will not accept the report if this element of the interaction is not included.
For both inquiry scenarios, the shopper will be required to make a small purchase to verify proof of visit.
For the laptop tune-up scenario, be sure to remove anything on your computer that the technicians might find that pertains to mystery shopping! Be prepared to leave your computer for several days. If you don’t have a backup to use in the interim, you might want to take a pass on this assignment. Otherwise, this scenario is fairly easy and requires little effort on your part. The client will want to know if you were asked about your computer’s current performance and any issues that you might be aware of. There will also be some procedural questions on the report about the check-in and check-out process.
What Others Have to Say: There are a significant number of postings on www.mysteryshopforum.com about the length of time involved on-site for the two-item inquiry in the big box stores because it takes so long to get assistance. Others have commented on the apathetic attitudes on the part of the sales associates, which in some cases, necessitated the shopper leading the interaction.
Estimated Pay: Standard pay for many electronics assignments is usually around $15.
MSCs: Among the mystery shopping companies that conduct electronics evaluations are BestMark, IntelliShop, and Reality Check.