Mystery Shopping - how big is the market

Mystery Shopping - how big is the market

‘So, you know your market share right? Wouldn’t you like to know?’ – Esomar publishes global mystery shopping market turnover.

The Esomar ‘Global Market Research 2017’ report shows world research turnover rising +2.3% (after inflation) to US$44.5 billion. The USA is the largest market accounting for nearly half the global turnover, at 19,5 billion. Naturally, the European region features strongly, with the UK (pre-Brexit!) top of the pile, at 6,6 billion, followed by Germany at 2,8 billion and France at 2,3 billion.

Of interest to us in the MSPA community is that mystery shopping (as a research project type) is listed for the first time.  The Esomar report suggests that mystery shopping represents 1% of global MR turnover or $445,1 million out of $44,5 billion. This figure for Mystery Shopping (defined as any type of anonymous data gathering e.g. calls, e-mails, visits, price and promo audits, etc.) seems too low. Our estimates for global mystery shopping turnover have it over $2 billion, with the US accounting for a billion and Europe around half a billion. However, it is likely that only a few mystery shopping focused companies (both MSPA- and non-MSPA members) participated in the Esomar survey.

Esomar has put a stake in the ground, however it’s important to us as mystery shopping providers to create a more accurate picture of the landscape.  To this end, we will be asking our members to take part in a pricing survey later this month, and results will be shared at the conference in May.