Traditionally mystery shoppers were used to give unbiased feedback to retail managers, to see how various stores were performing on multiple measures: inventory availability, store ambiance and cleanliness, customer service, etc. Some mystery shoppers would “shop the competition” to compare prices on similar items and other strategies. During the COVID 19 pandemic, we will evaluate safe retail practices from a customer point of view.
This assignment is to evaluate the curbside delivery for two competing retailers in your area. Due to COVID 19 considerations, the easiest comparisons will be two grocery store chains or two general merchandise chains (ie Target and Wal-Mart). Stores to be evaluated must be multi-channel or Omni-channel stores, so read Chapter 3 and Chapter 4 before you begin the assignment.
Make a list of 8 to 10 items that you would need from your store. Be very specific on your list, including information on brand, flavor, size, color, or whatever descriptions matter to you. For example, my list had Campbell’s consume soup but you might prefer a different brand, or might not care which flavor (Chicken noodle, Chicken and Stars, Chicken Gumbo might be equally acceptable).
Now make a scorecard for the Multi attribute model scorecard similar to Part B in Exhibit 4-2/ Exhibit 4-3 on p 92 and p 93 (Chapter 4). Your table needs three characteristics of a retailer (can be from the numbered list below or others) with your personal importance rates, and room to compare 2 retailers. See Example below.
Your importance weights
Download the app for the two retailers on your phone or computer. Use the app to fill your shopping list. Set up a time to pick up at the retailer. You should see a list of what items can be filled exactly, which items are out of stock, and whether substitute products are suggested. Print this. YOU DO NOT HAVE TO BUY THE PRODUCTS – YOU CAN CANCEL.
For the paper, include your list and the names/locations of your two retailers, followed by the comparison table. Describe the following with separate paragraphs:
- Ease of using the app (including downloading and navigating.
- Percent of products available (order fill rate) and quality of match (number of substitutions and acceptability of substitutions)
- Payment options
- Availability of pickup times
- Price competitiveness
- Customer service
Lastly, discuss the relative advantages of each store option during the pandemic. Which would you choose for shopping on a long-term basis?
Format (in paragraph form):
Ease of Using App
Availability of Pickup Times
Advantages and Disadvantages of each retailer during social distancing
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