The Dimensions of Mystery Shopping Program (DMSP) - Checklist Construction

Document Type: Review Article


Assistant Professor, Department of Commerce, CHRIST (Deemed to be University), Bengaluru, Karnataka, India


The purpose of this study is to develop a checklist (yardstick) which can be used widely across various industries employing mystery shoppers. This research paper focuses on the development of a checklist instrument after a detailed critical review of various theories, concepts and themes associated with mystery shopping. Mystery shopping is being used in many industries such as banking and insurance, Retail and marketing, Government department, entertainment etc., and hence a common yardstick has to be framed which could be used to measure the outcome of mystery shopping assignments. Thus, the research motivation is to construct a checklist for mystery shoppers to evaluate the mystery shopping field work. Selected research articles were taken to critically analyze the theme of mystery shopping. Rigorous efforts had been taken to understand the usage of mystery shopping in various industries to form a common pool of statements which forms the “The Dimensions of Mystery Shopping Program” (DMSP-checklist construction). To ensure the relevance of a common checklist which can be used across various industries, detailed explanation on how the variables had been selected has been explained. Qualitative software named Dedoose, which is now very popular in Social Science, has been used to find the most promising variables. The study concludes that measuring the customers shopping experience is more important for a mystery shopping filed work considering three important variables to be seen in checklist such as: product knowledge, service & customer experience.


A.M, W. (1998). The role of mystery shopping in the measurement of service performance. Managing Serice Quality , 414-420.
Anand Shankar Raja M. (2017). A case study analysis using mystery shopping in the retail sector. International Journal of Recent Scientific Research Research , 19829-19831.
Anand Shankar Raja M; , Dr R Angayarkanni. (2015). Emotional Intelligence an Essential Cause for Mystery Shoppers. Int. J.International Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences Review and Research,35(2), November – December 2015; Article No. 34, Pages: 186-190 ISSN 0976 – 044X , 186-190.
Anand Shankar Raja M;, Dr R Angayarkanni. (2015). Office management challenge using mystery shopping. International Journal of Commerce, Business and Management (IJCBM),ISSN: 2319–2828 , 977-987.
Anand, Sruti. (2015). Mystery Shopping: A Marvelous Tool in the Hands of Organized Retailers. International Journal of Management, Innovation & Entrepreneurial Research (IJMIER) , 18-21.
Anderson. (2001). A research approach to training: a case study of mystery guest methodology. International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management, 13 (2), pp. 93-102.
Barry, C. A. (1998). Choosing qualitative data analysis software: Atlas/ti and Nudist.
Bong, S. A. (2002). Debunking myths in qualitative data analysis. Forum Qualitative.
Bromage. (2000). Mystery Shopping – It’s research, but not as we know it,.
Bryman. (1998). Quantity and quality in social research. London: Unwin Hyman.
Bryman. (2006). Paradigm peace and the implications for quality. International Journal of Social .
Claudia, P. a. (2012). Monitoring and Improving Greek Banking Services Using Bayesian Networks: an Analysis of Mystery Shopping Data. An International Journal archive, (39), 10103-10111 .
Davidson, J. (2012). The journal project: Qualitative computing and the technology/aesthetics.
Dr R Angayarkanni, Anand Shankar Raja M. (2016). A Study on the Logical Relationship Between Emotional Intelligence, Job Satisfaction and Motivation among Mystery Shoppers: A Pilot Study Analysis. nternational Business Management,Year: 2016 | Volume: 10 | Issue: 6 | Page No.: 818-826 .
Elliott. (2005). Using narrative in social research. London: Sage.
Erlich. (2007). "Mystery shopping". 43-44. Competitive Intelligence Mangazine.
Finn, A. (2001). Mystery shopper benchmarking of durablegoods chains and stores. Journal of Service Research, 3 (4), .
Gosselt. (2007). Mystery Shopping and Alcohol Sales: Do Supermarkets and Liquor. Journal of Adolescent Health, pp.302–308 .
Gosselt, J. F. (2007). Mystery Shopping and Alcohol Sales: Do Supermarkets and Liquor. Journal of.
Helen Moriarty, Deborah McLeod, Anthony Dowell. (2003). Mystery shopping in health service evaluation. The British Journal of General Practice,Br J Gen Pract. 2003 Dec; 53(497): 942–946.
Hinkin, T. R., B. T., & C. A. (1997). Scale Construction: Developing Reliable and Valid Measurement Instruments. Cornell University, School of Hotel Administration site:
Hudson, S., & Snaith, T. (n.d.). Distribution Channel in Travel: Using Mystery Shopping to Understand the Influence of Travel Agency Recommendations.
Hyat, F. (n.d.). Retrieved from
Jaswinder Kaur, M.S. Bhatia, Priyanka Gautam, Rashmita Saha. (2015). Mystery patients or simulated patients:A check on the Medical Professionals. Delhi psychiatry journal Vol. 18 No. 1 APRIL 2015 .
Jayaraman, M. S. (2010). Service quality delivery and its impact on customer satisfaction in the banking sector in Malaysia. International Journal of Innovation, Management and Technology, 1 (4). .
Job monkey. (n.d.). Retrieved from Mystery Shopper Section: https://www.jobmonkey. com/mysteryshopping/what-is-mystery-shopping/
Mallett, M. (2008). Pair training with mystery shopping, Restaurant.
McLaughlin, & Harrison,. (1991). Exploring the cognitive processes underlying responses to self-report instruments: Effects of item content on work attitude measures. Proceedings of the 1991 Academy of Management annual meetings, 310-314.
Mystery shopper job finder. (n.d.). Retrieved from The History of Mystery Shopping:
Nunnally, J. C. (1967). Psychometric theory. New York: McGraw Hill.
Olwen. (2017). The history of mystery shopping . Retrieved from
Oswald, R. K., & Michael. (2006). Lasting customer loyalty: a total customer experience approach. Journal of Consumer Marketing, Vol. 23 Issue: 7, pp.397-405,
Pappas, A. (2015, June ). Retrieved from The Rise of Mystery Shopping Companies:
Parasuraman, & Zeithaml. (1998). SERVQUAL a multipe item scale measuring consumer perceptions of service qualtiy. Journal of Retailing .
Sandra G. Boodman. (2010). Retrieved from AARP Bulletin, August 13, 2010 :
Shaw, & Ivens. (2002). In Building great customer experiences. New York: Palgrave Macmillan.
Shepherd. (2004). beyond philosophy. Retrieved from
Singh, P. &. (2014 June ). Mystery Shopping: Measurement Tool for Customer Intelligence. IOSR Journal of Business and Management, 16(6), 101-104 .
Spitzer, R. (2005). "The case against targets". The Journal of Quality and Participation .
Tashakkori, A. &. (1998). Mixed methodology: Combining qualitative and quantitative approaches.
TCS. (2013). Indian Retail Operations Benchmarking & Excellence Survey-2013, RAI - TCS study report. available at Indian-Retail-Operations-BenchmarkingExcellence-Survey-2013.aspx, .
Trend Source. (2017). Retrieved from The History of Mystery Shopping: A Timeline:
Verma. (2008). Mystery Shopping- An introduction. The ICFAI University Press.
week, A. o. (2008). 2008. Travel Weekly Australia (94): 21.
Wiele, T. V. (2005 June ). Mystery Shopping: A Tool to Develop Insight into Customer Service Provision. Total Quality Management, 16(4), 529–541.
Wilson. (1998). The use of mystery shopping in the measurement of service delivery. Service Delivery Journal , 148-163.
Wilson, A. M. (1998). The Use of Mystery Shopping in the Measurement of Service Delivery. An International Journal .
Wright, T., & Campbell Quick, J. (2017). Best practice recommendations for scale construction in organizational research: The development and initial validation of the Character Strength Inventory (CSI). Wiley Online Library .
Zikmund, W. (2009). Business Research Methods (with Qualtrics Card), Cengage Learning.