Monday, January 21, 2013

Some iPhone Cash for the New Year

Did 2013 bring with it some resolutions for the new year or perhaps a financial hangover from too much Christmas shopping? How about earning some extra cash each month? Better – if you love retail (that is why you are here, right?) and you have an iPhone, why not combine the two and make some money helping to provide market research for various companies right in your own neighborhood. You can, with an iPhone app called EasyShift.

Easyshift is one of many coming on the scene that uses crowdsourcing (you, me and a bunch of other folks) to report back to companies how their products are being displayed (or not) in-store. The idea is not new, companies have hired people to travel from store to store to do this for decades, but the technology (an easy to use app and explicit instructions) allows anyone to become the “product rep” to check up on product offerings, quantities, and displays.

EasyShift contracts with CPG (consumer packaged goods) companies that want to track a specific product or promotion for that product. EasyShift then builds a set of instructions based on the parameters of the “ask” and pushes that out to their app via “shifts” for their app community to reserve and then ultimately complete. The shift provides the address for the retailer, how much the shift will pay, and specific instructions of what needs to be done while in-store. The app uses GPS technology to get you to the retailer (if you need it) and confirm you actually visit the store.  Shifts can range from $1.00 to $10+ depending on the number of questions, the number of photos required (using the iPhone camera inside the app).

I started experimenting with the app about 6 months ago as a means to understand more about it. It did not take long for me to get hooked. When you first start using the app you earn points based on the number of shifts you do. Points earned then translate to “promotions” ultimately getting you to General Manager. Beyond bragging rights (you can compare your points to other shifters in the app), promotions also bring with it the opportunity to reserve more shifts at one time. At the General Manager level, you have the ability to reserve up to 10 shifts that will be held for a period of time for you to complete. Once a shift is completed, you submit it via the app and EasyShift verifies the information and then deposits the payment into your PayPal account, usually within 24 hours.

I have enjoyed using the app, its simplicity and quick payment. It has become a routine for me to check the app before going on any shopping trip to see if I can earn a few dollars while shopping or running errands.  And if you want to know a little bit more about what I think of the app - check out EasyShift's User Spotlight. They actually tagged me to answer some questions about the app as a new user (uncompensated, of course).

The app has currently only been developed for the iPhone and an Android version has not been announced.  

You can download the app at the iTunes store here:  EasyShift - or check out their facebook page: EasyShift facebook.

So grab the app and go earn a few extra bucks. I have not only enjoyed a few extra dollars in my pocket but also a level of learning (at the shelf) that has been beneficial to my professional career as well. Please let me know any experiences you have with the app or any others that have retail applications.

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