usability testing

Best tech presents to buy this Christmas

If you’re a techie, you’ll know that just before Christmas lots of new gadgets are released in time for the holidays. It can feel like you’re absolutely spoilt for choice! From the latest pair of headphones to voice recognition speakers, there’s a whole world of different options out there. So, what are you putting on your Christmas list? To help you make your mind up on what gadget to go for, whether for yourself or for someone else, we’ve put together our top six tech presents this year! Plus, if you want to make sure you have a bit more cash in the bank this month, why not take part in one of our usability testing market research studies? You can get paid to test out new products, so check out our current projects to see what works for you. So, in no particular order, here are some of the best gadgets to get your hands on this year…

1. Polaroid Mini 2 in 1

Here’s something the whole family will love! This nifty little device combines the shape of a smartphone with the traditional Polaroid camera. Snap away to your heart’s content and watch your pictures print out almost instantly.

It has a 16-megapixel camera and a built-in flash, producing high-quality photographs for your scrapbook or photo album! It also has an integrated selfie mirror, so you can really capture every moment this Christmas. The device comes in 5 different colours: white, black, blue, red or yellow, and you can print your pics in three modes: colour, black and white, and sepia. Currently, it’s on sale at Argos for £74.99.

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Bonus gadget: Canon has released its ‘Zoemini’ mobile photo printer, a pocket-sized and portable printer. Connect your phone via the Canon Mini Print app and start printing your latest photos over Bluetooth. You can add filters, distortions, drawings or text for a customised image, and then peel the back off your print to stick directly in your scrapbook (or anywhere you like!). It’s £199.99 at Argos and Amazon, so get your order in!

2. Beats Solo3 Wireless headphones

With up to 40 hours of battery life, you can listen to your favourite tunes all day, and then some! These headphones have fine-tuned acoustics that maximise clarity, and their cushioned ear cups make for an immersive musical experience. If you’re on the go, their Bluetooth connection means that there are no wires to get tangled up in. Plus they even fold up, making it easy to slip them into your bag. You can buy them from Apple for £249.95 or £229.95 from Currys in a range of different colours.

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3. Echo Dot 3rd Gen Alexa

If you’re a fan of voice-recognition, then you’ll love the Amazon Echo Dot Smart Device with Alexa. With its refined design, this smart speaker fits in any room of the house. You can ask it to play music, read the news, and tell jokes! If you need to make a call or send a quick message to someone, no trouble: just download the Alexa App and sync your contacts straight from your phone. Alexa can even answer calls for you with a simple command, meaning you can have hands-free conversations – perfect for a busy family life.

With better, louder sound, this 3rd generation is a step up from previous makes and can hear you even over loud music. You can connect it to other compatible Echo devices at home by using ‘Drop In’, so you can send an announcement to your speakers in different rooms, like calling the kids for dinner (making this a great gift for teenagers!). It’s available at John Lewis, Currys, or Amazon for £49.99.

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4. ViewSonic Lumens Projector

If you’re a movie lover, then you need this projector in your life! Grab a couple of big blankets and cuddle up with a Christmas classic this year with the family. Its exclusive SuperColor technology offers a wider colour range for accurate and crisp image projection. The SonicExpert technology produces a great sound quality, too. It’s great to use all year round, even suitable for outdoor viewings in the summer! A great present for the whole family, the ViewSonic Lumens Projector is currently on Amazon for £275. Keep an eye out for our usability testing market research projects if you’d like to top up your bank account in time for Christmas. That way, you could make this year a great one!

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5. Amazon Fire TV stick with Alexa

Sticking with the movie theme, another great Christmas present would be the Amazon Fire TV stick 4K Ultra HD with Alexa Voice Remote (try and say that once you’ve had a few mulled wines!)

Choose from 200,000 movies and episodes to enjoy from Prime video, BBC, Netflix, Channel 4, Disney, Curzon and more! Then, once you’ve made your mind up on what to watch, you can launch your favourite films and TV series with voice control. If you’re an Amazon Prime member, you can get unlimited access to literally thousands of programmes and films – so you certainly won’t be bored this Christmas break! You can even stream music; there are over 2 million songs (yes, 2 million!) to listen to, so your Christmas parties will never be dull! It’s available on Amazon for £49.99.

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6. Fitbit Charge 3

Want to get active in the new year? Stay on top of your resolution in 2019 with the Fitbit Charge 3. The most advanced tracker yet, this wearable device helps you get to know your body and understand your health. Some features include 24/7 heart rate tracking, fitness, and sleep tracking, contactless payments, and a 7-day battery life. Oh, yes, and it shows the time. You can choose from four different colour combinations including grey/rose-gold, lavender/rose gold, white/graphite, and black/graphite. Get it for £129.99 on the Fitbit site or on Amazon.

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What are you tempted by? There are loads of great new gadgets out there this year, some making pretty exciting Christmas presents! So, if you’re thinking about treating yourself or a loved one to a brand new sparkling TV, but need to save the pennies before you take the plunge, then why not consider taking part in paid market research?

Here at Angelfish Opinions, we often have usability testing projects, which you can easily get involved in by signing up to our panel. We also run other types of research types, such as focus groups and online communities too, all of which are great fun! If you’d like to voice your opinions to the brands you love and make a real difference to the way products are made, then join our research panel today.

Sign Up Here.

consumer shopping behaviours

Why consumer shopping behaviours are changing

We’ve all been there: the thought of trawling the shops in a search for a wardrobe update can sometimes seem such a time-consuming, laborious task. The dreaded dressing-room dramas are enough to put anyone off; standing in a badly-lit cubicle, holding the flimsy curtain shut to avoid passing shoppers, trying to squeeze into a ridiculously sized top – it’s not always a relaxing experience.  It’s one of the reasons why consumer shopping behaviours have changed so much in recent years.

Many of us have turned to the world of online shopping, not just for clothing, but for food, homeware, and technology too. And why not? The ease of finding and selecting exactly what you want, at the price you want, at any time of the day, right from the comfort of your own home. What’s not to love?

Consumer shopping behaviours are changing, and it’s now having an effect on the retail industry as a whole. But what do people really prefer – in-store or online shopping?

Vanity Sizing and the ‘Try Before You Buy’ Mentality

Have you ever picked up an item which you thought was your size, only to find that it was far too big? If so, don’t worry; you haven’t suddenly shrunk to the size of a nine-year-old, you’ve just become victim to vanity sizing.

Vanity sizing is a technique used by clothing brands with the aim to make customers feel good about having to buy clothes in smaller sizes than they would elsewhere. Increasing the measurements of garments results in people having to buy one or even two sizes smaller than they normally would. On the flip side, other high-street brands such as H&M have received complaints in the past about their sizes being too small. These days, clothes shopping can involve quite a lot of guesswork and risk-taking. But people don’t want to have to try on multiple sizes of the same garment just to figure out what they should be buying, do they? No, customers want efficiency, ease, and confidence in their sizing.

To keep up with changing consumer shopping behaviours, online retailers such as ASOS have introduced a ‘fit assistant’ service that will help you find the perfect size at the click of a button. All they ask is for your height, weight, and whether you prefer loose- or tight-fitting clothing. Running your data against others’, they compare what people your size bought and didn’t return. The result shows the recommended size for a specific item, which you can then save for later purchases. This meets the demands of the modern customer, who values personalised services. Using technology such as this has made online shopping much more convenient, meaning people don’t even have to leave their homes to make a purchase that they have confidence in.

consumer shopping behaviours

Of course, when you shop in-store, you’re able to touch the products, try them on, and get a better overall feel for the item. This, for many, is why in-store shopping is still the preferred option. So, to compete with this, online retailers such as Amazon’s ‘Prime Wardrobe, are now offering ‘try before you buy’ services, meaning that customers don’t need to pay for the item that they have ordered before testing it out at home.

Klarna, for example, works with well-known brands to offer a ‘pay later’ service for customers. They also run a payment plan, to ‘slice’ bulk costs into equal monthly payments, making online shopping more attractive to consumers.

Virtual dressing rooms that use artificial intelligence (AI) technology, is also becoming a popular trend, again altering consumer shopping behaviours by offering alternatives to traditional in-store purchasing. Gap’s 3D dressing room app allows you to create an avatar of yourself to see how different clothes fit on your body shape, avoiding those dressing-room-dramas! Would you be inclined to try this technology out in place of in-store shopping?

Specsavers are also using AI to aid the customer’s journey with their virtual try-on technology. This uses facial analysis to scan the customer’s face shape and features; taking the guesswork out of buying a new pair of glasses. All pretty nifty, right?

Shopping on Social Media

Social media influencers have also had an impact on the way people buy products. Nowadays, people are relying more and more on customer reviews before they buy a product; 60% of consumers look at online reviews at least on a weekly basis, and 93% say that these reviews impact their purchasing decisions. With the rise of social media, some people have built quite a significant following, meaning they have a certain influence over their audience. Brands are now working with these influencers to advertise their products and, as consumers have more reliance on recommendations, this has become an effective marketing technique.

Instagram, for example, has now integrated an online shopping system, where users are able to click on an image which is showcasing a particular product and be taken to the site where they are able to purchase it. This seamless shopping experience enables people to quickly access more information about the product, all without leaving the app.

consumer shopping behaviours


Technology is now being introduced in-store to meet this demand for convenience. As you may be aware, supermarkets now offer a ‘scan as you shop’ service, where you can pack up your items as you walk around the aisles, paying for everything in one go when you’re finished. No longer do you have to wait in queues at the checkout, which cuts down the amount of time it takes to do your weekly shop! Although this has made shopping in-store easier, online food shopping is even less time-consuming. With just a few clicks, customers can have their food delivered straight to their door, even within a specified time period.

If that wasn’t enough, we now have companies such as HelloFresh, who deliver boxes of fresh ingredients, all readily measured out to make healthy meals. They even provide the step-by-step recipe within the delivery, making mealtimes even more convenient. With our everyday lives getting busier and busier, the less patience we seem to have! So the easier it is to shop for and cook our meals, the more appealing it is!

Even fast food is starting to get faster with the introduction of self-service ordering. McDonald’s has upgraded many of its stores with touch-screen kiosks so that customers can choose exactly they want from a wide range of different choices.

The impact of technology

It’s clear that technology has had a massive impact on consumer shopping behaviour. Customers value convenience, ease, and seamless shopping, opting for the brand that will save them the most time, while still delivering great quality service. The wave of online shopping has had a negative effect on brick-and-mortar shops; we’ve seen big brands suffer – including House of Fraser and Toys R Us.

To get your voice heard by the brands you love, and to get paid for sharing your opinions, why not take part in our market research studies? One method you can take part in is accompanied shopping, where your shopping habits are observed. That’s right – you can get paid to go shopping! They can last between 30 minutes and 2 hours, depending on the study or size of the store. You will be joined by a researcher, who won’t influence you in any way, but may ask you a few questions as you go about your shopping trip! Brands want to know how you shop so that they can get to know you, and what you like. Sign up to our research panel, we look forward to hearing from you!

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