QuickShop vs. Mystery Shop: Why Less is Sometimes More

You don’t always have time, money, or even the need to “go all out.”

That’s why we sometimes grab a protein bar rather than hit the diner for a plate of ham and eggs, or we jump in the car for a quick weekend getaway rather than board a plane for an exotic resort.

Nothing against hot breakfasts or all-inclusive vacations; they certainly have their place.

But under some circumstances, less is more.

Quickshop Agent Photo - Outback, Bozeman, MT  

QuickShop vs. Mystery Shop: When Less is More


Many retailers, brands, and restaurants have traditionally relied on mystery shopping to monitor the quality and consistency of in-store offerings and customer service. For all their benefits, conventional mystery shops carry certain disadvantages for time-strapped, cost-conscious, simplicity-minded companies:

  • Mystery shops, as commonly understood, often encompass extensive surveys of 30-50 questions
  • Timelines for completing mystery shops are usually long, and companies must wait weeks or months for results
  • Sometimes there are considerable costs associated with training mystery shoppers and developing shopper personas

All this adds up to heavy investments of time and money, which, given the company’s objectives, may be worth it.

Other times, however, a company simply needs a scaled-down alternative to traditional mystery shopping programs.

QuickShop: The Alternative to Traditional Mystery Shopping


Which is precisely why mobile solutions firm Field Agent developed the QuickShop—a simpler, faster, more affordable take on traditional mystery shopping.

The QuickShop, in contrast to a mystery shop, entails fewer questions, shorter timelines, and virtually no shopper training or persona development.

“It’s a lighter, expedited solution for companies that think they need a mystery shop but don’t really need a mystery shop,” said Matthew Costner, director of strategic opportunities at Field Agent. “They actually need a quicker, simpler version of it.”

Quickshop vs. Mystery Shop Comparison


Unlike conventional mystery shopping, the QuickShop utilizes “everyday” shoppers as opposed to trained mystery shoppers. In this way, companies enlist their own customers in the process of co-creating outstanding shopping and service experiences.    

Moreover, while traditional mystery shops include lengthy surveys of 30-50 questions, the “sweet spot” for the QuickShop, according to Costner, is about 15 questions. These questions, he said, usually assume two forms: operational questions (e.g., “Did employees try to upsell you?” or “How clean were the restrooms?”) and experiential questions (e.g., “How likely are you to return in the future?” or “How satisfied were you with your meal?”)


Powered by Field Agent’s all-mobile crowd of over one million shoppers, QuickShops harness the efficiencies of crowdsourcing to generate fast, reliable insights in a fraction of the cost, time, and effort of standard mystery shops.

“We’re making it quick and cost-effective to get instant visibility on customer experiences and store operations,” said Costner. “We’re already providing this unique in-store visibility to a broad range of companies.”


A QuickShop of 180 Casual Dining Restaurants


To illustrate the capabilities of a QuickShop, Field Agent deployed agents to 180 casual dining restaurants across 6 popular chains. The culminating report shares photos and results from the study, while further illustrating the capabilities of QuickShops. Download this free report today!


The Quickshop: How restaurants use their own customers to co-create outstanding dining experiences