Websites using ‘mystery shoppers’ to snoop on partners

Websites using ‘mystery shoppers’ to snoop on partnersWebsites that offer coupon codes and cash-back deals are hiring ‘mystery shoppers’ to keep a tab on their partner sites. Reason, this way they will see invoicing and validity of coupons on the partner sites and upgrade their own technology for better traffic.

The websites that keep offering discount coupons and cash-back guarantees derive their revenue from commissions on transaction routed through them.

Most of the coupons turn effective due to expiry of the deal or usage terms.

So to update their websites in real-time with valid and appropriate coupons, these firms are banking on employees, friends, family, as mystery shoppers and giving them cash to buy stuff online.

"A lot of coupons work for app users, first-time users or don't work across brands in the fashion segment. These glitches cannot be monitored through tech upgradation and we need someone to test these aspects," Kulpreet Kaur, founder and chief executive of the one-year-old coupon site Shoppirate, which employs a mystery shopper told Economic Times.


Depending on the e-tailer, up to 30% of the coupons issued turn ineffective. "With eCommerce players, our focus is on testing the user experience. Only one of the e-tailers we work with spends considerable sums on developing their graphic user interface," Gaurav Pachauri, CEO of WeMark Marketing, which offers its mystery-shopper service to e-tailers, told the financial daily.

WeMark also works with Groupon on easing source deals, knowledge of Groupon call-centre personnel to the behaviour of local businesses once the customer goes to them with the deal.

(Image: India Times)