Collected Concepts Announces Mystery Shopping Service

Retail consultancy Collected Concepts has debuted Shop & Share, a service that offers retail jewelers insights into their stores’ strengths and weaknesses as well as those of their competitors.

Collected Concepts developed the idea after the Illinois & Chicago Jewelers Association hired them to secretly shop 14 stores.

“The results were eye-opening,” says Nick Failla, president of Collected Concepts. “Not one salesperson asked for our names and only one gave us their name.”

The service will assess a store and its competitors on sales performance, staff demeanor, and showroom condition, as well as a store’s online presence.

“We want to provide answers on how to solve the issues and flaws we found while shopping,” Failla says.

The new feature is based on an incentive program. Collected Concepts tells each store which three behaviors it is looking for—they vary (e.g., do employees introduce themselves)—but doesn’t tell the store when they will be coming in to shop. During the secret shopping, if the sales associate performs those behaviors, he or she will receive a Visa gift card.

“Our reports will provide a real-world snapshot of what’s happening in the store,” Failla says.

Failla also stresses the importance of a retailer’s online presence. He urges retailers to concentrate on three mediums: the Web, Facebook, and Pinterest.

“If you don’t have an up-to-date website, you aren’t perceived as current,” Failla says. “Additionally, Pinterest is a great tool for the jewelry industry.”

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