Mystery Pricing

OPTIMIZING YOUR OWN PRICING STRATEGY WITH PRICE SURVEYS

Mystery pricing comprises undercover surveys with the aim of evaluating which prices and/or discounts a customer receives on defined products or services.

In particular, mystery pricing is used to collect information on how and which prices are displayed, whether price negotiations are possible and which discounts are given, as well as in which form discounts are granted (cash, in kind). The surveys can be conducted within the own organization or at the competition.

The findings are used to review and, if necessary, adjust pricing policy, analyze the behavior of the company's own and competitors' sellers, and develop optimization measures on this basis.

Synonymously used terms are price survey, mystery checking, mystery visit, test purchase, test purchase-based procedures, test consulting, or service test. Price surveys are sometimes used synonymously with mystery shopping, store checks, mystery visits, mystery mails, mystery calls, and competition checks. Price surveys can be distinguished by the fact that, as a rule, the focus is on evaluating prices and less or not at all on collecting qualitative criteria.

Typical test elements are:

  • Price labeling
  • EIA
  • Price negotiation
  • Discounts
  • Discount form
  • Net-net prices

Mystery Pricing is used especially in industries where prices change frequently, prices are non-transparent, or where prices are negotiable. Examples of this are the pharmacy, car trade, bank, DIY stores, consumer electronics, service, DIY, trade, hotel industry, food retail, furniture trade, motorcycle trade, travel agency, telecommunications industries.

MYSTERY PRICING AS PART OF COMPETITION MONITORING

This special form of mystery shopping focuses less on determining the quality of the customer experience and more on issues related to price. This can include the covert determination of a large number of prices in a defined market, but also the deliberately targeted negotiation in the purchase conversation, with the aim of negotiating the lowest possible price.

In a time of increasing competition, price plays a decisive role for most customers when making a direct comparison between two suppliers. In mystery pricing, our mystery shoppers take on the role of the customer for you and find out, among other things, how much leeway there is with regard to the lowest possible price. A special form of mystery pricing is transaction price analysis, in which your own net prices and those of the competition are systematically determined across defined product segments.

HELPFUL INSIGHTS FOR PRICING

The pricing of a company can be very complex and individual. Depending on the approach, there are many helpful possibilities here for increasing one's own sales.

In the context of mystery pricing, for example, it is evaluated which non-binding prices are shown and which discounts are granted for different products afterward. Of course, mystery pricing can be carried out not only at one's own company but also at the competition. Thus, it is possible to optimize one's own pricing policy through this competitive analysis, and thus improve one's own market position. Mystery pricing makes it easier to analyze the behavior of salespeople and to design prices, discount promotions, and rebates in a more targeted manner. Based on the documentation of our mystery shoppers, price negotiations and presentations can be further optimized, thus improving the conditions for increasing profitability.

Mystery pricing as a clearly distinguishable component of mystery shopping

Even though qualitative surveys can be integrated into mystery pricing projects in the same way as in classic mystery shopping, the focus here is primarily on evaluating prices. However, the overall results of the test can certainly be incorporated into an overall qualitative evaluation and thus help to improve the quality of the customer experience.


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