Overview: I love doing grocery shops but they can be slightly tedious depending on the mystery shopping company. The payment for this type of shop can range from reimbursement only to reimbursement plus a fee. One of the things that I like about doing grocery shops is that you can have an opportunity to try out new recipes by purchasing foods that you would not ordinarily buy. There are some companies that require you make a purchase from specified departments in the store, but most of the companies that I have worked with allow you purchase what you want, their main priority is that you interact with employees in the specified departments.
Project variations: For most companies you will be required to go different sections of the store such as the produce, meat and deli departments but there are also some high end grocery stores that have departments that specialize in vitamins and essential oils, and the shopper is required to have interactions in those departments as well.
Visit and reporting requirements:
You are usually required to go to the location and look around the parking lot to report on the cleanliness of the lot and the amount of loose carts. A visit to the restroom is part of the requirements as well as having interactions with store employees in several departments, usually the meat, the produce and the service deli if there is one available. For most grocery shops the company wants you to make a note of the cleanliness of the store, but there are some mystery shopping companies that focus on the customer service as the most important aspect of the shop. In addition to that, some companies will allow you to ask the employees scripted questions while other companies will allow you to make up your own script as long as it fits the department.
Strategies: Following the guidelines are a must. Not all grocery shops have the same requirements. Sometime the questions that you have to ask the employees may seem a little strange but they are a requirement that has to be fulfilled the way the client has requested that it be fulfilled.
TIPS: When you have scripted questions, try to interact with the employee instead of just asking the one question for example, if the question is “how would I cook this steak?” Instead of walking up to the employee in the meat department and asking that question out of the clear blue sky, I usually try asking if the steak is a tender cut of beef, based on his answer I would go on to find a way to insert the question into the conversation.
What others have to say: Posters at www.mysteryshopforum.com have expressed different opinions on grocery shops, some don’t like them because of the questions and others love them for the added groceries.
Estimated pay: As stated, this type of shop can range from reimbursement only to reimbursement plus a fee. I’ve seen some fees as high as $20.00 and some fees as low as $5.00 with a with a $20.00 reimbursement.
MSCs: Companies that currently have grocery shops are Market Force, Strategic Reflections, Service Check, Trendsource and RealityCheck.