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Airline retail sector looks to mystery shoppers for evaluations


Airports have recently been looking into new approaches that will make them retail shopping destinations instead of just waiting rooms for stalled travelers. A number of suggestions have been made, such as offering local products that represent a region's culture and implementing mobile commerce solutions that make it easy for commuters to make quick and easy purchases.

To ensure these changes are hitting the mark, some airports might follow in the footsteps of the Houston Airport System, which KHOU 11-TV explains has decided to employ a service benchmark that's common in the retail industry - mystery shopping.

"They'll come in, shop the stores, critique them and then give us the feedback," John DePriest of HMS Host, a concessionaire in the Bush Intercontinental Airport told the source.

Mystery shoppers will be coming in a lot, seeing that the airport system has asked the Houston City Council for $436,000 to cover the costs of assignments, the news agency adds.

If the contract goes through, the region might see a growing demand for mystery shoppers, which can mean good news for anyone that wants to make a little extra money on the side. Most mystery shoppers won't get rich from their jobs, but they can make additional income for visiting shops and restaurants, often receiving free products and services on top of cash payments.

Jobs will vary based on the industry and the specific company, but in general, shoppers will receive an assignment for an on-site visit. The mystery shopping company will detail certain requirements, such as deadlines or certain time frames during which the shop must be completed as well as any purchases they will be expected to make.

After they perform the job, shoppers will have to follow-up by writing specific report that addresses all of the assignment requirements. Along with the report, they will need to submit any requested receipts or photos. These usually serve as evidence that participants visited the correct location, but also ensures they will be reimbursed properly if they made a purchase out of pocket for the task.

Once the provider receives the submitted paperwork, its editors will review the report to make sure it's complete and submit cash payments or reimbursements to the shopper. Although every company differs, most providers will submit payment in the form of a paper check.

 



 

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