What happens once I have completed my registration?  ? Once you have completed your registration, remember to check your emails on a regular basis. The first e-mail from us will be to confirm your registration and to invite you to log in to familiarise yourself with the site, take the tutorial and change your password to a more memorable one.


Selecting Assignments:  When you receive an email advising that we have assignments available in your area, you should login to your inbox on  This is where you will make your selections and enter your results.   It is very easy to use - simply select an Assignment that you'd like to complete and click “Apply”. When you have committed to completing an assignment it is vital for us that you complete this by the deadline given. You do not need to wait for an e-mail. Check your inbox within the WebMS system on a regular basis.

How do I know what a specific assignment requires? You must read the instruction document: It is important that you always come across as a real shopper and reading the document will give you all the background and information you will need to do this. It will highlight any particular aspects of the Assignment that you will need to pay special attention to.  It may seem daunting at first, but once you have read the brief through a few times you will see that this is typically no different to your usual shopping experience, it will just be that you are taking more notice of the service you receive and looking out for specific things.

What happens then: Once you are fully familiar with the brief, go and undertake the mystery shop during the timing you agreed to.  Remember to act naturally; nobody will know that you are a Mystery Shopper.  As soon as you are out of sight of the store or outlet, complete your paper questionnaire before you forget any of the detail.  If you experience any problems call the Mystery Shoppers helpline number provided.


Assignments:  In-store Observation assignments are allocated via our team of Supervisors and Project Managers. Assignments will be sent to your in-box following a confirmation telephone call or email.

How do I know what a specific assignment requires?   The person who assigned the site to you will have taken you through the basic requirements of the visit.  In addition you must read the instruction document attached to the assignment details .  It is important that you understand the full requirements of the visit prior to undertaking the assignment.  If you have any queries whilst reading this document please contact the person who allocated the site to you.

What happens then:   Once you are fully familiar with the brief, undertake the assignment during the required timeframes. 


How do I return my work? As soon as you get back home log onto our Website and report your results to us.  Always do this on the same day as you carried out the assignment.  Timing is crucial to our clients and we will often report to them within hours of an assignment being completed.  It is vital that you enter accurate and detailed observations while they are still top of your mind.  The system is available to you 24 hours a day to ensure that you are able to enter your results promptly.  Results are generally expected within 24 hours of completion of the assignment; however this may vary from job to job.  If you do not deliver your results within the timeframe specified for each project, we may not be able to use your data and pay you. 

How long does each assignment take? This is variable, depending on the project.  A telephone call can be as short as 5 minutes, a store visit may last 20 minutes, and if it is a very complicated project this could last for an hour or so.  The briefing notes will advise of the estimated length of each Assignment before you accept it.

Will I have to do the assignment within a certain time frame?  Absolutely, our clients require their assignments to be carried out on a particular day, or within a given time period.  We are not able to change this requirement and when you accept any assignment and agree to the deadlines, we need you to commit to doing this.  If for any reason you cannot, we would ask you to decline your allocation on the system so that another Researcher can undertake it.

What do I get paid?  Payment is per assignment and will vary according to the level of complexity involved.  Payment is per assignment and will vary according to the level of complexity involved.

Will I have to buy anything? This will depend on the requirements of the Assignment and will be specified in the briefing notes.  You may be asked to purchase a specific item or you might be asked to agree to a particular service which you will then cancel.  All of this will be made absolutely clear in the briefing notes.

What talents do I need? There are no specific qualifications needed, but you must be reliable, accurate, confident, calm and you must also possess a good memory.

Is it difficult? No - However it is vital that you carefully read and follow the assignment and questionnaire instructions.  The reports that ESA prepare for clients are specific to the stores or outlets visited, so your questionnaire answers must be accurate and truthful.

How do I return receipts which I must obtain as proof of visit? The system allows you to electronically attach (at the time you enter the data) the receipt to the questionnaire it refers to.  You can take a photo (using your mobile or digital camera) or scan it; you then download the photo onto your PC, save it and attach it to the data.

Will I be paid if I do not return the receipts? If receipts are a specified requirement of the assignment, payment cannot be made until the receipts have been received.  ESA also reserves the right to withhold payment if the data cannot subsequently be used due to any such delay.

How do I claim for mileage? There will be a fixed fee for the assignment and therefore no mileage will be paid.

How will ESA know which Researchers provide good quality? All assignments will be rigorously checked as soon as they are received and the researcher will be graded based on standard performance factors.

How will ESA know about the Researchers experience? The system produces statistics on both what type of assignments the researhcers conduct and also their quality.

How will ESA know who is fast and reliable? The system provides statistics on how timely the assignments are returned.

Who will I talk to for queries and help when I am out and about conducting visits? Please always keep the ESA helpline numbers with you.

What do I do if the store I am meant to visit is closed despite the fact that I am visiting at the right time? Please call the relevant helpline as soon as possible. If you leave a message, please leave your name, contact number, the project name and number and any other relevant information

What if I am challenged as a mystery shopper? Always have a good excuse/explanation or scenario ready before you start the assignment.  Inform the office via the Mystery Shoppers helpline if you do experience any difficulties.

What is the best way to prepare for an assignment?


Read the instructions even if you have done this type of assignment before (details often change).

Have the paperwork information (small copy questionnaire, address of the outlet) ready ahead of the visit.

If not provided on the instructions, always think through a good scenario before the assignment.

Can I go to another outlet of the same chain if the one I was meant to visit is closed? No.  You cannot unless it is explicitly mentioned on the instructions document.  In any case you must inform the office via the relevant helpline and await instructions.   Visiting a different shop without prior authorisation will result in non-payment.