Do you want to get paid for shopping and dining out? Mystery shopping might be the perfect gig for you! As a mystery shopper, you’ll be paid to visit stores, restaurants, and other businesses undercover to evaluate their customer service, cleanliness, and other aspects of the business.
Mystery shopping is a popular way to earn extra income and a fun and flexible way to work. In Canada, there are plenty of opportunities for mystery shoppers to find work, but it can be overwhelming to know where to start.
In this article, I’ll walk you through the basics of mystery shopping in Canada, including how to find jobs, what to expect on the job, and how to get paid. With my tips and tricks, you’ll be on your way to becoming a successful mystery shopper in no time!
What's in the Article:
- What is Mystery Shopping?
- Top Mystery Shopping Companies in Canada
- How Much Can I Make as a Mystery Shopper?
- Is it hard to be a mystery shopper?
- Do I get to Keep What I Purchased During the Mystery Shop?
- Is Canadian Mystery Shopping Worth it?
What is Mystery Shopping?
Mystery shopping is a research technique companies use to evaluate their services from a customer’s perspective. Mystery shoppers pose as regular customers, interact with a business’s services or products, and then provide detailed feedback on their experiences.
The benefits are multifold. For companies, it offers an unbiased insight into their operations and can highlight areas needing improvement. For shoppers, it provides a unique way to earn extra income, often with the perk of free goods or services.
However, there are downsides. The work can be time-consuming and inconsistent, and the pay may not always reflect the effort put in. Despite this, the role’s flexibility, the opportunity to try new products or services, and the ability to help companies improve their customer experience make it appealing.
Top Mystery Shopping Companies in Canada
Mystery shopping in Canada is a great way to evaluate customer service, product quality, and the overall operations of businesses. It enables companies to gain honest customer feedback and improve their services accordingly. This section will explore the top mystery shopping companies in Canada and provide detailed information on why you might use them.
Premier Service, a well-established mystery shopping company since 1991, offers services across various sectors such as retail, service industries, and more. They are known for assessing sales associates on their ability to serve customers quickly and efficiently. Notably, their mystery shoppers are paid monthly via PayPal; no sign-up fee is required. Once approved, you can immediately apply for four types of missions: mystery shopping, merchandising, price and data collection, and brand ambassador roles.
Established in 2005, Shoppers Confidential is a full-service feedback and insight data company based in Toronto and Edmonton. They specialize in Mystery Shopping and Secret Shopping, among other tools and programs, to offer businesses a comprehensive view of the customer experience. They can customize insight programs according to the uniqueness of each company, and their products and services can provide a great return on investment. They can help businesses measure and monitor customer experience and service levels through a customized Mystery Shopping Program. They also offer e-commerce customer experience audits to ensure websites deliver the desired customer experience.
RetailTrack is a mystery shopping company based in Canada that specializes in measuring customer experiences. Their main business clients come from various sectors, including retail, financial, and hospitality. Notably, RetailTrack offers an online portal where shoppers can sign up and receive assignments via email. The company values detail-oriented and perceptive individuals who can effectively evaluate and report on their shopping experiences. RetailTrack is also a Mystery Shopping Providers Association (MSPA) member, ensuring adherence to high industry standards.
BestMark is one of the largest mystery shopping companies operating in both the U.S. and Canada. Their business clients span a range of industries, including retail, automotive, and hospitality. As a mystery shopper for BestMark, after signing up online and passing an evaluation, you can browse and choose assignments that interest you. BestMark values shoppers who display professionalism and a keen eye for detail, as they will be tasked with assessing employee performance, product quality, and overall customer service.
Intouch Insight offers mystery shopping services for various industries. Their business clients include restaurants, retail stores, and financial institutions. You can start receiving assignments after signing up online and passing a test. Intouch Insight stands out with its powerful CX analytics and reporting tools, which provide granular filters, location-based settings, and interactive charting. They aim to make reporting effortless, enabling brands to uncover trends quickly and scale successes overnight. Their platform offers a comprehensive set of advanced Customer Experience analytics tools that help measure the impact of actions, understand external factors affecting scores, and interpret the meaning behind the data.
PerformaLogics is a company based in North America that primarily delivers mystery shopping services. Their business focuses on providing companies with detailed and accurate assessments of their customer service and operations. A standout feature of PerformaLogics is its comprehensive and user-friendly platform, where potential shoppers can sign up and begin accepting assignments upon approval. The platform’s design makes it easy for users to navigate and find assignments that fit their profiles. Through this platform, PerformaLogics helps businesses improve their customer service by providing them with feedback from actual customers.
Based in Quebec, Lanla is a market research firm offering a variety of services, including mystery shopping. While it caters to various businesses, it has a strong presence in the retail and hospitality sectors. Lanla sets itself apart by delivering actionable insights based on mystery shopping experiences. The company has a user-friendly online platform where shoppers can sign up and accept assignments after approval. Lanla’s research and analysis provide businesses with the necessary tools to enhance customer service and overall performance.
Sensors Quality Management (SQM)
Sensors Quality Management (SQM) is a mystery shopping company specifically focusing on the travel and hospitality industries. After signing up online and getting approval, mystery shoppers can select assignments that match their interests. SQM’s unique selling proposition is its specialization in the travel and hospitality sectors. This narrow focus allows the company to provide more in-depth, industry-specific feedback to its clients. With SQM, businesses in these sectors can improve their customer service by gaining insights from the experiences of real customers.
We Check is a versatile mystery shopping service provider serving various industries across Canada. Their broad industry focus makes them a viable option for businesses in a wide array of sectors seeking to improve their customer service. After signing up online and receiving approval, shoppers can start accepting assignments. We Check’s strength lies in its ability to adapt to various industry needs and provide relevant feedback, helping businesses in their journey toward exceptional customer service.
Mystery Shopping Canada Inc.
Mystery Shopping Canada Inc. is a company that offers a wide range of mystery shopping assignments. The company caters to diverse sectors, providing an extensive selection of assignments for their shoppers. After signing up on their website and receiving approval, shoppers can start accepting assignments. The broad range of sectors served by Mystery Shopping Canada Inc. allows for a comprehensive understanding of different industry standards, which benefits businesses seeking to improve their customer service based on well-rounded insights.
How Much Can I Make as a Mystery Shopper?
Mystery shoppers in Canada can expect to earn between $15 to $25 per assignment, with more complex tasks offering higher pay. Payments are typically provided via direct deposit, PayPal, or gift cards around 2-4 weeks after you complete the assignment.
The average mystery shopper’s salary in Canada is $34,125 per year or $17.50 per hour. Entry-level positions start at $29,250 annually, while most experienced workers make up to $58,500 annually.
You’ll also need to forward your purchase receipt to your mystery shopping employer to get reimbursed for your purchases, which can take between 30 to 90 days.
Is it hard to be a mystery shopper?
Becoming a mystery shopper does not require special qualifications or previous work experience, but it does require certain skills and traits.
First, having an open mind is crucial. As a mystery shopper, you need to go into a business without preconceived notions, blending in with customers and acting naturally at all times. This means maintaining composure, even if the service is subpar, and saving your comments for the review.
Second, attention to detail is invaluable. From the moment you approach the business, you should be observant. Are the signs turned on? Are there any hazards like ice patches by the front door? Was there a greeting upon entering?
Third, following instructions is a must. Each mystery shopping job is tailored to the client’s specifications, and you need to read, study, and follow these instructions closely to perform them as naturally and efficiently as possible.
Last but not least, having a good memory is essential. Making notes while on site can arouse suspicion, so you must remember key details about your visit. You should fill out the questionnaire as soon as possible after the shopping visit. Also, meeting deadlines is crucial. There might be a specific visit period to get the job done, and quite often, the time frame is much less than anticipated.
Do I get to Keep What I Purchased During the Mystery Shop?
Yes, in most cases, mystery shoppers get to keep the products or services they purchase during their assignments. This is a significant benefit of the role. Not only are you reimbursed for your purchases, but you also get to enjoy the products or services free of cost, which could range from restaurants to clothing, electronics, or other consumer goods. Here’s one solution if you were wondering How to Save Money at Grocery Stores.
However, it’s important to remember that the primary goal of mystery shopping is to assess the quality of customer service and the overall shopping experience, not to acquire free goods. The products or services are a bonus on top of the compensation for the assignment. This perk, combined with the flexible nature of the work and the opportunity to provide valuable feedback to businesses, makes mystery shopping a unique and appealing job for many.
Is Canadian Mystery Shopping Worth it?
Mystery shopping in Canada can indeed be worth it, especially if you’re seeking flexible work opportunities and a range of other benefits. Here’s why:
One of the primary advantages of mystery shopping is the flexibility it offers. Unlike traditional jobs that require a fixed schedule, mystery shopping allows you to choose assignments based on your availability and preferences. This flexibility makes it an ideal side job or even a primary work-from-home job for those who prefer setting their own hours.
Variety of Assignments
Mystery shopping companies in Canada serve a broad spectrum of industries. This variety can make the job exciting and engaging, as you could visit a restaurant one day and a retail store the next. The diversity of assignments also allows you to gain experience and insights into various sectors.
While mystery shopping may not make you rich, it does offer financial rewards. These could be in the form of reimbursement for purchases, cash payments, or a combination of both. Depending on the complexity and length of the assignment, the compensation can be pretty reasonable.
Mystery shopping helps you develop and enhance several skills. It can improve your observation, reporting, and communication skills, among others. These are valuable and transferable skills that can be beneficial in many professional contexts.
Contribution to Improvement
As a mystery shopper, you are crucial in improving customer service quality. Your feedback can help businesses identify areas of improvement and take appropriate measures. Knowing that your work contributes to better customer experiences can give you a sense of accomplishment.
So, suppose you’re in Canada and are looking for a job that offers flexibility, variety, skill development, and a sense of contributing to better customer experiences. In that case, mystery shopping can be a worthwhile venture.