Mystery Shoppers Help Prove the Value of Trade Promotion

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Mystery shopping is revealed to be an effective tool in proving the value of trade promotion for manufacturers and retailers alike.

Mystery shopping is revealed to be an effective tool in proving the value of trade promotion for manufacturers and retailers alike, according to the newest white paper offered this month by RitterAssociates, the company that builds great customer experiences.

A critical issue for manufacturers is verifying that trade promotion components outlined in a sales agreement with their retail trading partners are working and capable of providing the anticipated sales lift both trading partners expect. Manufacturers and retailers (grocery stores, convenience stores, department stores, mass discounters, and big box stores) all have a vested interest ensuring the effectiveness of trade promotion spend.

Their search has generally ended with best-in-class technology solutions, but more is required. While trading partners have worked to ensure that the deal is properly understood, executed to plan, and delivers the required return on investment (ROI) at the strategic and operational levels, the use of professional mystery shoppers provides the tactical performance data that complements the collaborative benefits manufacturers and retailers want in their trade promotion programs.

"Industry statistics show that manufacturers can spend in excess of 50% of their marketing budgets on trade promotions", said Stanley Gene Hart, President of Toledo-based Ritter Associates. "Proving the ROI of trade promotion, and ensuring a degree of compliance with the deal, can be daunting, but not impossible, when used in conjunction with mystery shoppers. Professional mystery shoppers can be deployed nationwide and provide virtually real-time data on a number of trade promotion programs at the retail level."

Shoppers receive strict guidelines on what to look for and can either conduct their visits anonymously or reveal themselves to store management upon completion of their visit. "Both manufacturer and retailer need to know how well the promotion is working," added Hart. "They have to be assured that the agreement is carried out properly; otherwise, the results aren't meaningful and the opportunity to optimize trade spend is lost."

The paper, entitled "Mystery Shopping as an Effective Tool in Trade Promotion Management," is the newest offering from RitterAssociates in its Thought Leadership series covering topics of interest to retailers and brand owners alike. Visit and download your free copy today.

About RitterAssociates
Since 1974, RitterAssociates has provided accurate, quantitative, and actionable customer measurement data that enable our clients to maximize their return on investment and gain a competitive advantage in the marketplace. RitterAssociates combines talent with technology to create the most effective custom measurement program to fit your needs. For more information about RitterAssociates, visit us at

Media Contact:

Julia Unbehend
Public Relations
RitterAssociates, Inc.


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