Mystery Shopping: Go Outside the Box

07 Aug Mystery Shopping: Go Outside the Box


Observations by Galileo and Copernicus overthrew the geocentric model of the universe.

Common Knowledge, Human Behaviour & Mystery Shopping

Galileo & Copernicus

For thousands of years we lived in a geocentric world.

The earth was the centre of the universe, with the sun and stars revolving around the earth.

This was accepted as common knowledge, the accepted and inviolable view of the world.

Doctors of Science, with the equivalent of modern day PhDs, filled libraries with books and charts detailing how the sun and stars revolved around the earth. Mechanical models (armillary spheres) were made that demonstrated how the earth was the centre of the universe.

The geocentric model of the universe even received religious sanction, making it an article of faith that could not be contradicted.

Then, despite the fiercest opposition, men like Galileo and Copernicus proved that this was a false concept of the universe or, at least, a false concept of our solar system: it is now a proven fact that we live in a heliocentric solar system, where the planets revolve around the sun.

Mechanical Humans

Over many decades there have been many attempts to understand and/or human behaviour by reducing human decision-making into simplified and mechanical “rationality”. This view of human behaviour is what is behind the various forms of game theory models, like the Nash equilibrium.

Predictive analytics, which are statistical techniques used in predictive modeling, machine learning and data mining, are another way in which human behaviour is reduced to a numeric values: current and past behaviour is used to predict future behaviour. This is the idea behind Big Data.

Thankfully, human behaviour is much more complicated than any statistical algorithm or numeric value.

Human beings cannot be boxed into convenient models created by statisticians.

Dependence on quantitative research may cause businesses to miss important insights on their clients, their products and their competitors.

Outside the Box and Beyond the Statistics

Mystery shopping is the primary field research component of Competitive Intelligence.

Mystery shopping provides clients with real world and real time insights on customer behaviour and competitor activities.

Interactions between clients and frontline personnel, like sales and customer service representatives, provide a deeper understanding on how customers behave and how best to meet their needs as buyers and consumers.

Insights on product strengths and weaknesses can be extracted and revealed by mystery shopping that other methodologies cannot adequately measure.

Whether your company is in the B2C or B2B arena, your company is affected by the interaction between human beings, customers and sales representatives.

Mystery shopping provides insights you need to make smart decisions on product development as well as sales and marketing strategies.




For a free consultation or further information on how our Competitive Intelligence services can be used to give your company the winning edge:

You can also contact me at: at 416-651-0143 or [email protected]

Enrico Codogno is the Principal Consultant at Customer Foresight Group.

Customer Foresight is a Toronto-based Competitive Intelligence and Market Research firm providing customized research solutions to private sector companies.


Customer Foresight Group


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