Mystery shopping by disabled and older consumers
Mystery shopping is an effective method for exposing poor sales practice and recognising good customer service.
We currently run an annual programme of over 250 mystery shopping inspections for clients. Shoppers are selected from our UK-wide consumer research forum of over 700 people from all age groups and who have a range of disabilities.
- are briefed to observe and collect information and to record it accurately.
- are available UK-wide
- can visit local shops, make enquiries by phone or take home visits from salespeople
- are disabled and older consumers
- can be credibly matched to specialist services that they visit in ‘real life’
- are specially recruited, trained and briefed for individual research projects
For every mystery shop, the shopper is given a briefing and an evaluation questionnaire. Both are carefully tailored to the project and client.
Much of our mystery shopping research is confidential.
Consumer workshops and focus groups
- Groups are recruited from our consumer research forum and from our community outreach network
- Members come from all age groups and have a range of disabilities
- We have trained moderators experienced at working with disabled and older consumers
- We ensure all disabled people can participate, using communication support such as British Sign Language interpreters
Our workshop research clients
- Transport Focus - disabled rail passengers' solutions
- British Gas - exploration of communication materials
- Usability of cooking appliances for Thomas Pocklington Trust
- Using mobility scooters on public transport for the Department for Transport
- Rail passenger assistance services for ATOC
- Safer driving for older drivers for the RAC Foundation and Rees Jeffreys Road Fund
- Grocery packaging for M&S
- Supermarket customer insight workshops on access and services
- Usability of central heating controls for visually impaired people for Thomas Pocklington Trust
- Usability of smart metering displays for Consumer Focus, British Gas and E.ON
- Cancer awareness among visually impaired and hearing impaired people for NHS Cheshire and Merseyside Clinical Network
- Specialists in inclusive research methodologies, ensuring that all disabled people can take part
- Online and paper questionnaires, telephone and face-to-face interviews
- Recruiting disabled and older participants (see our consumer research panel section) and advising on sampling issues
- In-car safety technology - survey of older drivers' views and experiences, 2014 (PDF)
- Mobility scooter user survey - summary - commissioned by the Department for Transport, 2014 (PDF)
- Scooters on public transport - report to the Department for Transport, 2013 (PDF)
- Equipment services - report to the Department of Health, 2011(PDF)
- WheelPower survey - commissioned by English Federation of Disability Sport.
Fieldwork for large-scale surveys is sub-contracted to survey research agencies, although all our survey questionnaires are designed and written by our own experienced staff, and tested by carrying out pilot surveys.
The Research Institute for Disabled Consumers is a member of the Market Research Society.
Last updated: May 2018