Mystery Shopping in Canada – Why it’s a Good Career Choice

Mystery shopping is a fascinating concept. It involves an individual who visits a store and is tasked to evaluate the store’s service and its products. For mystery shoppers in Canada, shopper profiles are compiled before the shopper arrives. These profiles contain relevant information about the shopper such as age, sex, marital status, religion, ethnicity, language, and other pertinent information that aid the mystery shopper in evaluating stores. Mystery shopping in Canada is not easy.

So, what exactly is mystery shopping? Mystery shopping in Canada is very similar to mystery shopping in the United States. Mystery shoppers in Canada, like those in the US, visit various stores and then write reports assessing the service they received. The service providers provide the same script: questions to ask, samples to examine, instructions to follow, etc. The difference lies in the manner in which shoppers are evaluated.

In the US, mystery shopping companies employ shoppers who are given specific instructions and have a defined time limit in which to evaluate various stores. Canadian retailers, on the other hand, do not employ specific guidelines for evaluating their service. In many cases, Canadian retailers have simply hired mystery shopping companies without assigning detailed instructions as to the items to be investigated or the method by which the evaluation will take place. As a result, many mystery shopping companies in Canada are unable to meet the standards required by law, leaving many shoppers dissatisfied.

There is some hope. The Retail Innovation Secretariat (RIS), an organization in Canada that promotes innovative solutions for Canadians, has developed standards for evaluation of service provision by Canadian retailers. The RIS identifies five key components to evaluate when judging whether a service practice fits into the requirements of the Statistics Act and Canadian Consumer Protection Act. These components include: whether the service was free of cost; whether customers were aware of the evaluation; whether the service provided complied with the principles laid out in the Code; whether any complaints were lodged against the store and if so, what measures were taken to resolve these complaints; and if the store failed to maintain the standards set out in the Code. All five of these components are then incorporated into the Canadian Standards Association (CSA) Code of Conduct.

So, shopper beware when shopping in Canada. Mystery shopping in Canada can be very different from traditional mystery shopping in the United States. Here, retail operators are required by law to offer consumers the opportunity to contact someone who can make an informed judgment about their products and services. They are also legally bound to provide full disclosure of all details relating to their evaluation. In short, they have to be more transparent than their US counterparts.

The first thing you should know is that shopping assignments available to Canadian citizens no longer comprise only general stores or malls. There has been quite a surge in the development and growth of specialty shops that specialize in particular products and services. For instance, there are now more than forty “sole purpose” shops in Canada, which sell only one product type. For example, you can find sole purpose shops in every city, including Vancouver, British Columbia. In addition to catering to a single market, such specialty shops are also better positioned to respond to consumer trends.

Even though you are not working for a major national chain, you still have a lot of freedom when it comes to choosing assignments. Canadian shopping service providers are required by law to offer you various options, and this is not a matter of constraint. If you prefer, you can work on a part-time basis for up to 30 days a year, but you need to keep in mind that you will not be paid for the full month’s worth of work. Similarly, you can choose to work full-time or part-time. As may be expected, you can set your own rates, and you can decide whether you want to work for a specific company or if you would rather work for an independent supplier. Your annual income can also be significantly increased by completing mystery shopping jobs abroad.

Mystery shopping in Canada is not limited to grocery stores. For example, you can work as a consultant for Loblaw Companies Limited, which owns the popular Canadian ice cream brand. In addition to working for Loblaw, you can also choose assignments from other well-known companies in the field, and most likely, you will be required to travel to Canada to evaluate their merchandise. Mystery shopping in Canada offers you a lot of flexibility, so whether you want to make money by taking a quick vacation or you are looking forward to building a career, this is one of the best choices you could ever make.

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Keith Rainz

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