Mystery Shopping to Enhance
Customer Experience, Engagement & Delight

Even though most retail stores have their own online shopping portals, consumers generally prefer large e-commerce platforms for variety in choices that translate into value-added experience. Naturally, competition amongst large e-commerce players is high. While factors like product price, discounting and options are closely matched, customers’ purchase journey defines their overall experience with the platform, thereby shaping its reputation.
A leading Indian e-commerce platform wanted to enhance its customer experience. Eminence helped the company understand customers’ journey, identify the gaps, and suggested corrective measures. We adopted Mystery Shopping as the main tool to meet the client’s needs. In a three-way approach, we conducted the exercise in 10 cities and across five product categories.

Evaluation of Customer Journey:

As our first step, we studied the platform closely and outlined a questionnaire that covered specific aspects about the customer journey. This included everything right from the look and feel of the websites, to products, delivery and return or exchange policy. To understand the specific pain points and get crucial insights, both quantitative and qualitative response was incorporated into the questionnaire.

≫ Mystery Shopping & Competitive Benchmarking:

We undertook the mystery shopping exercise for the concerned e-commerce platform, as well as its competitors to understand the benchmarking. We then reached out to over 50 mystery shoppers to understand the full customer journey. Each shopper was provided with a specific product category and allotted the app, website, or mobile site platform. The shopper then performed the exercise for the client’s platform as well as on that of the competitors. The responses were recorded in the questionnaire forms.

Identification of Best-in-Class Practices:

We also studied some of the best-in-class practices in the online shopping industry. This included some top-ranking banking services, D2H providers, luxury hotels, food delivery apps and the likes. The highlights of the customer journey included quick query resolution and simple website user interface.
After getting first-hand accounts from shoppers about their customer journey on these platforms, the responses were recorded.

≫ Outcome:

Our exercise looked at customer experience across India, focused on prominent product markets and covered over 6000 data points. After recording and analysing the data from the approach adopted, we identified the gaps. These included smaller gaps like visibility of return policy on the platform to the process of returning a product.
We then analysed the strengths and weaknesses of the platform to document our suggestions. We highlighted the specific pain points that customers commonly faced, how competitors managed the same issues, and recommendations on how to improve them. Similarly, we highlighted several unique and positive features about the client’s platform and suggested ways to maintain them.
Eminence is now into the third year of providing strategic insights to this client through an extensive mystery audit exercise and high-end analysis. Our insights have become critical input for the company’s customer delight strategy.