Completing the Shop Project

  • Remain anonymous. 20 percent of people evaluated say they know they were shopped. Don’t be obvious, think on your feet and act natural. If you need to take notes during your visit, try to use the restroom to privately record information into a small notebook. DO NOT take the evaluation, client guidelines or other shop project paperwork on any part of your visit.
  • Be neutral. The object of a shop project is not to see how many hoops people can jump through; it is to fairly assess the habits and skills of the associate/location, no more and no less.
  • State the facts. Although companies want to know what happened, they just want the facts. For example, they want to know what someone was wearing as opposed to whether or not you thought they were dressed fashionably.
  • Never compare visits or locations. Judge each one on its own merits. Some larger organizations have many different location types. For example, grocery store chains may have small, medium and mega stores. You cannot compare one type to another. You don’t have enough information to do this properly. Keep it simple and report on only that one visit or location.
  • Get proof. If a shop project requires a purchase, make sure the receipt is either included when faxing a report or attached when doing an online submission. These are usually client requirements, and your shop would not be accepted without a receipt. If you are given paperwork, keep it. It is important that you be able to prove you were there.
  • Score properly. Always pay attention to a client’s scoring guidelines. Sometimes, you’ll answer with a simple “Yes” or “No”; other times, you’ll score on a scale of 0 to 5 or 0 to 10. Don’t be afraid to score the highest score possible if all components in the question were met. If you do not give the highest score, make sure you explain why you gave a lower score.
  • Detail is vital. Make sure you are aware of your surroundings and other facts; detail is vital, so you want to pay attention.
  • Complete the shop project on time. Some companies will immediately cancel your shop project if you don’t submit your report within their time frame. Make sure you closely abide by the deadlines provided in the client objectives for each shop project.