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Linked mystery shopping inventory to customer-seller encounters

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This study addresses the relative gap in the literature regarding the establishment of a conceptually solid tool for mystery shopping surveys that can have useful managerial implications. The main research objective is to contribute to the development of a reliable mystery shopping inventory (MSI) linked to specific customer behaviour outcomes for use in retail selling. The methodology employs a mystery shopping survey conducted in a chain of electric and electronic consumer goods stores. We used a scale development process to assess the impact of salesperson behavioural items on overall evaluation of the salesperson, intention to purchase, and store recommendation. The results confirm the applicability of the proposed MSI in monitoring outcome-related selling behaviours and suggest that developing and implementing a reliable and structured selling process leads to desired customer-related outcomes. This study offers a reliable MSI that firms can use to monitor customer reactions to specific selling behaviours in a retail context and to calibrate training programs and respective bonus schemes accordingly. Given the industry-specific nature of the study, the findings must be cautiously generalised before they can be applied to other retail sectors, such as furniture and apparel.


Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: March 1, 2011

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