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Why you shouldn’t clean & tidy before your in-home interview

When someone comes over to your house, it’s perfectly natural to do a quick once over before they arrive. Plump up the cushions, brush those biscuit crumbs off the sofa, cram that pile of dirty dishes into the dishwasher – whether you’ve got family coming over or are hosting friends for a catch-up, everybody wants their house to look its best! But, when it comes to doing paid market research from home, especially in-home interviews, researchers would actually rather you didn’t have a last minute tidy up. Yes, really – however strange it might feel, put the duster down and ignore those urges to quickly spruce the place up. Here’s why:

It could affect your behaviour

A researcher isn’t there to judge the cleanliness of your kitchen sink. They just want to know how you use a product or service in your own environment, on a day-to-day basis. For example, if the study is on kitchen storage and the research is gathering information on your storage habits, they’re going to be looking at how you move around the room and utilise your current storage solutions. Tidying, cleaning, and changing the area might affect the way you do this. Basically, if you have shoved a pile of post from the kitchen table into one of the kitchen drawers that you would usually use for something else, it will have a knock-on effect when you come to use that drawer – which will have an impact on the whole study.

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It could hide areas that need improvement

The idea of an in-home interview isn’t just to have a snoop inside your house. Rather, the researcher will be looking to identify any pain points. Or potential areas of improvement that their product or service could help resolve. In order to get to know you and identify things that do and don’t work for you, they need to really understand your rituals, your routines and your traditions. How else are they going to get a true understanding of how their product can benefit your life at home? By cleaning and tidying before the interviewer arrives, you could be covering up a pain point without even knowing it. Which means the study won’t be able to provide the most accurate results.

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Researchers want authenticity

In-home interviews are carried out to gain insights into how people really live at home. In order for the research to be authentic, interviewers will observe everything. From your verbal responses to questions, to your body language as you move around your home. So truthfulness is absolutely key. Don’t worry though, the interviews aren’t intended to be intrusive and they’re not going to rummage through your knicker drawer! All researchers want is to see you in your natural environment. Whether observing how you interact with friends round or simply watching you rustle up a bite to eat. They’ll ask you a few questions about the products you are using. They want to peek into your life and see how they can help. So in order to make a difference, it’s absolutely vital that you are authentic in both your actions and your answers!

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They’ll want to see the whole the house

When taking part in market research such as an in-home interview, it’s not unusual, in some cases, for researchers to want to see every room in the house. This is to get a real feel for your needs and a deeper understanding of your living space. And by every room, yes, that includes the spare room that is currently used as a dumping ground! That means there’s no point in gathering up any mess from your coffee table and dumping it in your bedroom. Because the researcher will most likely want to see that room too. Besides, if they need to take any measurements, they will do so using a laser. So you don’t need to worry about that pile of ironing being in the way.

In conclusion, when you take part in paid market research from home, researchers are looking for ways to help, not criticise. It’s all about identifying how you interact with different products and services and uncovering pain points so that they can improve their offerings and help to solve your problems. Remember, you’re not alone. We all have mountains of washing piling up that desperately needs to be sorted – the difference is who is brave enough to show it so that solutions to real-life problems can be developed!

Want to take part in paid market research with Angelfish? As with all of our market research projects, you will get paid between £50 and £100 for taking part in an in-home interview. Paid market research from home is fun, it’s flexible, and best of all, it’s a great opportunity to get your voice heard by big brands. If you want to get involved, sign up to our panel today.

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what does Brexit mean for the UK

What does Brexit mean for the UK? (by someone who doesn’t know about politics) – Part One

There’s a lot of noise going on in British politics at the moment and, unsurprisingly, an awful lot of it is focused around the dreaded ‘B’ word. No, we don’t mean Boris Johnson – we’re talking about Brexit. The toing and froing around all things Brexit has been confusing for many, with each different expert having a seemingly different opinion on what will happen after 29th March. So, what does Brexit mean for the UK? We thought we’d get someone without a clue about politics to have a crack at working it all out.

Read on for our Brexit breakdown, and find out what on earth is really going on in the world of British politics. We’ll start with the basics, look at the main arguments for and against Brexit and take a look at what all the recent votes in the House of Commons are about. And, most importantly, we’ll address the question that concerns us the most: whether or not Milky Way Magic Stars (which aren’t currently sold outside of the EU) will still be available after Brexit or if we should stockpile them while we still can…

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Back to basics

In 2017, the UK government paid £13 billion to the EU budget. EU spending on the UK was forecast to be £4 billion, making the UK’s ‘net contribution’ an estimated £9 billion. Since the UK voted to leave the EU in 2016 and Article 50 (the official way of telling Europe we are leaving) was invoked in March 2017, there have been endless talks about how Britain should go about leaving. The biggest hurdle? That all 27 remaining EU parliaments have to agree to the deal.

But in order to understand all that, first, we need to go back to basics and define what the EU even is – especially seeing as this was the most searched term on Google after the result of the referendum in 2016 (yes, really). The EU is basically a club of 28 countries in Europe. Each country pays to be a member, and in return, each member gets access to the single market. “What is the single market?” I hear you cry. Well, this means that the EU runs itself like one market, so you could move to Spain almost as easily as you could to Liverpool – or that’s the general idea, anyway.

The whole point of the EU forming was to break down the barriers for trading, allowing countries within the EU free movement of goods, services, capital, and labour (and also, y’know, to avoid WWIII – but that’s a whole different can of worms). It’s this last part, the movement of labour, that has caused a lot of unrest and was probably the deciding factor in the Brexit vote. But if the movement of labour is limited, then so too is the free movement of goods, services and capital. Basically, it’s au revoir to the single market as we know it.

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The single market

You’ve probably heard the term single market being thrown around a lot in the last couple of years, and that’s because it mainly relates to trade — the hottest Brexit topic. Because the EU is run as one market when it comes to international trade it means that the US, for example, has to trade with the EU has a whole, and not with Britain, France, or Germany as individual countries. It also makes it easier for Britain to trade with other EU countries, as there are reduced taxes on imported goods.

So, if France wants to sell its wine in Britain, there basically won’t be any extra costs involved in doing so — whereas if the US wanted to sell its wine in Britain, it would have to trade with the EU as a whole, and then have an additional trade deal with different taxes and additional payments to sell it in the UK too. As the biggest trade union in the world, some could say that the single market is quite a handy thing to be part of really. So, if we leave the EU, can we stay in this exclusive cool kids trading club?

Can we stay in the single market if we leave the EU?

Erm, no. Basically, the UK can’t stay in the single market without following the EU rules and regulations. If we did stay in the market but made our own rules, it wouldn’t be a single market anymore — it would be two markets, and that’s clearly not an option. So what do we do? Well, one option is regulatory alignment, which is a posh way of saying we align our rules with those of the EU so we can still have access to the single market. It’s a softer Brexit option that could help with access to the trade club, like Norway.

Norway has a deal with the EU which means they are a part of the customs union. Another word frequently thrown around, it sounds a lot more technical than it is and basically just ensures that countries charge the same import costs to non-members of the union. However, in this scenario, the EU still has all the power (meaning those who voted for Brexit aren’t that keen), and Europe is still pretty miffed at us for leaving. One thing’s for sure, though – with 44% of our exports going to the EU, if we don’t negotiate a good trade deal, our exports would be subject to import tariffs and extra admin costs.

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What does parliament keep voting on?

There seems to be some kind of vote going on in parliament every five minutes at the moment. First, there was the vote on the Chequers Deal, where Theresa May put her long-worked-on Brexit deal to parliament only for it to be historically defeated. The heaviest defeat of a Prime Minister in the democratic era, her deal was rejected by a resounding majority of 230. Ouch. Next, the Leader of the Opposition, Jeremy Corbyn called for a vote of no confidence, which the PM survived with a majority of 19.  

Still in Brexit deadlock, recently there were yet more votes in the House of Commons. MPs voted for an amendment by 317 votes to 301 to pass Theresa May’s Brexit deal if she can negotiate changes to the Irish backstop. The Prime Minister promised to return to the Commons with a revised deal to vote on by 13th February and hailed a “substantial and sustainable” Commons majority for leaving the EU. The only problem is, the EU immediately said the backstop wasn’t open for re-negotiation; this could make it pretty tricky for the PM to get a revised deal for the Commons to vote on when the EU has already made it clear they aren’t going to budge.

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What does this all mean? Basically, that as Theresa May heads back to Brussels for the billionth time, the Brexit saga continues to limp along. The Commons rejected a vote to extend Article 50 beyond the end of March, which means that D-Day is still looming in just two months time. And with No Deal looking more likely, the pound has dropped pretty sharply too.

As the drama continues to unfold, stay tuned for ‘Part Two’ of this blog series – what does Brexit mean for the UK? – where we look in more detail at the impact Brexit will have on our day-to-day lives. No need to panic, though! We’ve done a bit of research and it seems that for now, Magic Stars are most likely still going to be available. Phew!

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Too shy to go to a focus group on your own? Get your bestie on board!

Ever thought about registering for market research, but felt daunted at the prospect of going alone or speaking out in a group? You’ve probably already heard of some of the most common market research methods such as focus groups, market research online communities, and accompanied shops. But did you know that you can also take part in paid market research with your bestie? Yep – you read that right – a friendship pair is a type of market research methodology that involves two friends or family members taking part in market research together.  Sound interesting? Read on to find out more!

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What is a friendship pair?

Basically, a friendship pair is a type of market research method where researchers carry out an interview with two people together. By observing you and one of your friends, brands can see what you chat about, what makes you tick, and how you interact with their product. This is so they can understand how and why you make the decisions you do. And, because you’re taking part in research with a friend, the idea is that you don’t feel as shy as you might do in other market research scenarios. All this means you’ll both feel confident enough to have a truly open and honest discussion. So, researchers can really get to the bottom of what you think and why.

How do they work?

When you take part in a friendship pair interview, you’ll be given a particular product, service, or concept to chat about whilst you are observed and asked questions by a moderator. The researcher will be looking at how you and your friend interact and engage with each other, how you make decisions and how you share ideas. Because of the social dynamic and close relationship between you, friendship pair interviews can deliver a clear understanding of what you think and feel, and why. And, because they provide a great way to open up in a relaxed environment, they’re often a popular research methodology with children and young people too.

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How long do they last?

Generally speaking, friendship pair interviews last for around 60-90 minutes, but this will, of course, vary with each particular project. They can take place at home, online, out and about, or even in a central location. However, because the researcher will want to watch your body language and interaction, most often they are conducted face-to-face. Basically, just think of it as having a cuppa and a natter with your bestie whilst getting paid for it. We’ll even provide the biscuits!

See, we told you market research could be fun! If you’re interested in taking part in paid market research with one of your friends, register for market research with Angelfish today. It’s also a great way to earn a bit of extra cash! Companies are always wanting to hear your feedback on their products and services. So, feel free to have a peek at our current projects to see if there’s anything that tickles your fancy. Or alternatively, sign up to our panel to register for market research and start getting paid to have your say!
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save money by not drinking alcohol

The best ‘mocktails’ to try this Dry January

Christmas is a time for food, drinks, friends, and family. And, erm, a bit more food, a few more drinks, and another bite or two of food thrown in for good measure. So, when the clock strikes midnight on New Year’s Eve, it’s not surprising that many of us feel like embarking on a bit of a detox. If you want a healthy start to the year, it might be worth taking part in Dry January – not only will you feel better for it, but because you’ll probably save money by not drinking alcohol, your bank balance will thank you for it too!

Alcohol Change UK is a leading charity who promote ‘alcohol change’ rather than being ‘anti-alcohol’. What they are aiming to do is create a future in which people drink as a conscious choice, not a default. That’s why every year, Alcohol Change run Dry January, a one-month, booze-free challenge. With 88% of participants reporting they save money by not drinking alcohol, there are a number of benefits to taking part! It’s not too late to get involved either – you can still sign up here.

And don’t worry – taking part in Dry January doesn’t mean you need to be stuck at home whilst your friends are out having a good time. There are tons of delicious alcohol-free cocktail recipes out there – in fact, we’ve put together our top five mocktail recipes below so you can still join in the fun but without waking up with a fuzzy head the next day!  

Something Fruity – Sparkling Cranberry Pomegranate

This sparkling and fruity concoction is the perfect tipple for special occasions!


    • ¾ cup pomegranate seeds


    • 2-3 limes, thinly sliced


    • ¾ cup water


    • ¾ cup white sugar + ¼ cup for rimming glasses


    • 2 ⅓ cups unsweetened cranberry-pomegranate juice


    • 24 ounces club soda or sparkling water


    • Crushed ice


  • Garnish: fresh mint, cinnamon sticks


Whisk together the water and ¾ cup white sugar in a bowl until the sugar is completely dissolved. Fill a large jug halfway with ice, and pour in the simple sugar mixture. Add in the unsweetened cranberry-pomegranate juice, along with the sparkling water, sliced lime, and pomegranate and stir.

To serve:

Dip the top of your Champagne glass into a bowl filled with the remain ¼ cup sugar to rim the glass. Pour the drink into the sugar rimmed glass and garnish with a cinnamon stick and/or fresh mint.

Something Refreshing – Cool Cucumber Mocktail

This deliciously refreshing drink is the ultimate long drink to sip and enjoy!

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    • ¼ teaspoon finely chopped dill


    • 1 tablespoon agave syrup


    • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice


    • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice


    • ¼ cup of fresh cucumber


    • ¼ cup chilled soda water or lemonade


    • Ice


  • Garnish: 1 thin, lengthwise slice of cucumber, 2 dill sprig


Press the cucumber slice against the inside of a chilled highball glass and add ice. Meanwhile, muddle the chopped dill, agave syrup, lemon and lime juice in a cocktail shaker, add one tablespoon of water, and mix until the syrup is completely dissolved. Add ice and cucumber and shake well.

To serve:

Strain into the prepared glass, and stir in the soda water or lemonade. Garnish with the dill sprig.

Something Simple – Sweet Sunrise

A non-alcoholic take on the classic Tequila Sunrise that’s as pretty as it is delicious!


    • 4 ounces orange juice


    • ½ ounce grenadine


    • Ice


  • Garnish: orange slice


This one couldn’t be more simple to make – so if you want to make a delicious mocktail quickly, look no further! Fill a highball glass with ice and orange juice, then pour in the grenadine. Voila – quick, easy, and delicious!

To serve:

Simply garnish with a slice of orange.

Something Tropical – Fruity Fizz

It might be January, but who says you can enjoy a bit of summer sun in a glass?

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    • A handful of strawberries, hulled and halved


    • 1 kiwi fruit, peeled and chopped


    • 1 pineapple rings, chopped


    • Sparkling apple juice


    • Tropical fruit juice


    • Soda water


  • Garnish:


Mix together the chopped strawberries, kiwi fruit, and pineapple rings and add to eight glasses. Fill the glasses with equal amounts of chilled apple juice, chilled tropical fruit juice, and chilled soda water. Serve and enjoy immediately.


This delicious thirst quencher doesn’t need any extra garnish – it’s pretty enough on its own!

Something Fun – Sweetie Mocktail

If you have a sweet tooth then you’ll want to get your hands on this sweet and fun mocktail!


    • 1 cup lemonade


    • 1 ounce of grenadine


    • ½ ounce lime juice


    • Ice


    • Red decorating sugar


  • Garnish: your favourite sweets, treat stick, sliced lime


Dip your favourite glass in water then into a bowl of red decorating sugar to rim the glass. Fill the glass with ice, add 1 ounce of grenadine, lime juice, and top up with sparkling lemonade.


Garnish with a slice of lime, add your favourite sweets to the treat stick and balance it on the top of the glass. Simple, fun, and delicious!

Good Luck!

According to Alcohol Change UK, 58% of participants lost weight during last year’s challenge, and 71% enjoyed better sleep. Dry January clearly has a number of health benefits – but don’t forget you’ll also save money by not drinking alcohol too! If you’d like to save even more cash in the New Year, why not sign up to our panel to take part in paid market research? It’s great fun and you can fit it in around your work and family life too.

If you’re participating in Dry January, we hope these recipes provide you with some great alcohol-free ideas. Good luck – and enjoy!

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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 £119.99.

Polaroid 2 in 1 - Best tech presents to buy this Christmas

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.

Beats headphones - Best tech presents to buy this Christmas

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.

echodot - Best tech presents to buy this Christmas

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!

Lumens - Best tech presents to buy this Christmas

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.

Amazon Fire Stick - Best tech presents to buy this Christmas

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.

Fitbit Charge - Best tech presents to buy this Christmas

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.

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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.

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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.

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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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christmas days out for kids

Boredom Busting Christmas Days Out for Kids

We can hardly believe it either, but sure enough, Christmas is fast approaching. Our thoughts have turned to whether we need to make extra money for Christmas and how on earth we’re going to keep the family busy enough during the holidays. Not least to give ourselves some breathing space to tick off our festive to-do list! 

From the food shopping to last-minute dashes to town to grab forgotten presents, it can be difficult to keep the family entertained when you have a million and one other things to do. And, let’s face it, there’s only so many times you can all listen to Wham! and Band Aid before you start to lose your mind! So with that in mind, we’ve put our heads together and come up with a list of fun festive activities and Christmas days out for kids that will keep the whole family happy and make sure this Christmas is a great one!

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Go on a Christmas lights tour

There’s always someone who goes completely overboard with Christmas decorations, right? Well, once everyone in your neighbourhood has finished putting their lights up, why not jump in the car and take the kids on a Christmas lights tour? Pop on some Christmas music, bring along some blankets and see who can spot the most OTT decorations in your area. Alternatively, you could head to Longleat for the spectacular Festival of Lights. This year’s display brings classic fairy tales to life with magical displays and show-stopping exhibits – just make sure you book in advance to secure your place!

Book tickets for a pantomime

From Cinderella to Jack and the Beanstalk, there are always tons of pantomime shows to see around Christmas time. In our opinion, a good old-fashioned pantomime is one of the very best Christmas days out for kids that’s fun for the whole family. You could even make a day of it and dress up as your favourite characters! Or, if you’re feeling creative, get the kids to put together a fun play of their own at home too. Find out about the different panto performances in your area here. All together now: “He’s behind you!”

Snuggle up with a Christmas classic

It’s not always possible to make extra money for Christmas, so when it’s cold outside there’s nothing better than cuddling up together to enjoy a Christmas movie marathon. Check out Netflix for some festive feel-good films, or you could get everyone in the family to choose their favourite Christmas movie of all-time. For those of you lucky enough to live nearby, the Backyard Cinema offers a Christmas experience like no other. Book onto “The Christmas Labyrinth” to enjoy the enchanted maze, listen to live music and explore secret tunnels leading to the indoor cinema where you can snuggle up in a blanket or flop into a beanbag and enjoy a great Christmas film. They even offer drinks and snacks for children as well as festive tipples for the adults too… mulled wine, anyone? Book your tickets here.

Wrap up for a winter walk

If you feel like you’ve all been cooped-up inside together for too long, there’s nothing better than a winter walk; it’s a great way to clear your head and work off those Christmas chocolates! Wrap up warm and venture out for a country walk; despite the initial protests, we can guarantee everyone will feel better for it once you get started! Visit the National Trust website to find walks near you, or head to some of our favourite destinations: the magical trees at Westonbirt Arboretum, Cheddar Gorge in Somerset and the picturesque Studley Royal Water Garden in Yorkshire.

Stroll around a Christmas market

From the end of November, Christmas markets start springing up all across the country. They always make for a fun-filled family day out; from unique gifts to festive activities (and mulled wine for the adults!) there’s truly something for everyone. Bath Christmas market is a firm favourite with its cute chalets and fairy lights twinkling in the cobbled streets. The atmosphere is perfect for Christmas; choirs echo over the city and the smell of roasting chestnuts fills the air. Find out more here.

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So there you have it – our top Christmas days out for kids that are guaranteed to keep the whole family happy! If you want to make extra money for Christmas to spend on family days out or to put towards the Christmas food shop, why not sign up to paid market research with Angelfish? Not only is it great fun, but it’s a fantastic way to put away a few extra pennies too! 

Sign Up Here.

market research survey

Market research is more than just surveys (promise!)

Have you ever thought about taking part in paid market research but changed your mind at the last minute because you didn’t fancy filling out a long market research survey or just didn’t think it was quite right for you? Well, the good news is that with Angelfish, paid market research is about more than just surveys.

Taking part in paid market research is actually much more flexible (and exciting!) than you might think. In fact, there’s a huge range of different research types to get involved with so you can choose a method that works for you. Not only that, but paid market research is a great opportunity to share your opinions with the brands you love and meet new like-minded people too.

Read on to find out more about the different types of market research opportunities available with Angelfish…

Accompanied shopping

See, when we told you there were better options than taking part in a boring market research survey we meant it! Much better in fact: with accompanied shops, you basically get paid to go shopping. Yep, you read that right! When you take part in an accompanied shop, a researcher will witness your shopping habits (think of them as your silent shopping buddy!) who will observe your buyer’s journey and make some notes about what you do.

Occasionally your shopping buddy might ask the odd question but don’t worry, they won’t influence you in any way and you can go about your trip exactly how you normally would when shopping by yourself. Usually, an accompanied shop will last between 30 minutes and 2 hours depending on the type of study, size of the store and how in-depth the research is. You can find out more about accompanied shops here.

Paid focus groups

Do you like sharing your opinions? Well, now you can get paid for doing so! Great news, right? Not only that, but as well as having the chance to voice your opinions and shape your favourite brands, taking part in a paid focus group is also a great way to meet and get to know a group of like-minded people.

When you take part in a paid focus group you’ll discuss a particular product, service or concept. Each group will consist of 6 to 10 people and will last for around 60-90 minutes. You will be monitored by a moderator who will lead the discussion and pose different questions – and don’t worry, there will be plenty of tea and biscuits provided so you can settle in for a good old natter! Find out more about what it’s like to participate in a paid focus group here.

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Online communities

Can’t make it to location-based research like accompanied shops or focus groups? Don’t worry – you can take part in paid market research from the comfort of your own home! That’s right, market research online communities are a really flexible market research methodology that are great if you’re pushed for time and want to take part in market research that you can fit around your own schedule.

When you join an online community you’ll be part of a dynamic group discussion via a private, secure platform using a tablet, smartphone, app or desktop computer – whatever works best for you really! Usually, online communities will require you to log in for around 15-20 minutes a day for 7-10 days, so it’s really manageable and doesn’t take up too much of your time. Sound good? Discover more here.

In-home interviews

In-home interviews are another research method that, you guessed it, you can take part in from the comfort of your own home! You won’t suddenly find a panel of scary looking interviewers descending on your doorstep; in-home researcher is usually just a discussion between you and one or two researchers.

In-home interviews are a great research methodology for brands who are looking to find out more about their customers’ opinions in their everyday environment, or for companies who want to see how people interact with products in their homes. Generally speaking, the discussion can last between 1 and 3 hours depending on the nature of the study. Click here to find out more.

User experience testing

How do you feel when you use a particular website or app? Well, this is essentially what companies want to find out when you take part in a user experience test. User experience tests usually last between 30 minutes and 1 hour. They typically involve you completing various tasks on a website or app.

Whilst you’re doing so, a moderator will watch and listen to your feedback whilst specialist software captures your user behaviour. Just remember that when it comes to user experience tests there are no right or wrong answers; brands just want to know how successful and easy to use their website or app is. It really is as simple as that! Find out more here.

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In conclusion, market research today is much more than just filling in the blanks on a market research survey. It’s fun, it’s interesting – and it’s a great way to earn a bit of extra cash too! Companies are always wanting to hear your feedback in relation to their products or services, so why not take a look at our current projects and see if we’re currently working on anything that tickles your fancy.  

Sound good? Sign up to our panel today to join in the fun!

Sign Up Here.

paid market research opportunities

15 Easy Ways to Eat Well for Less

There’s a lot of advice out there on how to eat healthily. From green juices and courgetti to paleo this and Low GI that, it can often feel like there’s way too much to think about – especially if you need to feed your family on a budget. However, the good news is that eating healthily doesn’t have to be complicated, boring or expensive. In fact, a few little tweaks here and there is all it takes to make sure your family is fed, happy and healthy. And, to put more money towards your healthy food shop, you could always take part in paid market research opportunities! So, read on to find out 15 simple ways you and your family can eat well for less…

1. Write a shopping list

It sounds obvious, but you’d be surprised how many people do their weekly shop without a shopping list and end up buying things they don’t need. Instead, create nutritious weekly meal plans and stick to your shopping list as rigorously as possible so you can fill your basket with healthy foods that you’ll actually eat.

2. Empty out your cupboards

Before you head out shopping, make sure you root around your kitchen to find any hidden ingredients lurking in your freezer or long-forgotten tins at the back of your cupboards. You might find you’ve got enough ingredients to make a whole meal, or you could plan your weekly meals working around the items you’ve already got.

3. Don’t hit the shops when you’re hungry

It’s true! People who go shopping when they’re hungry are much more likely to splash the cash on high-fat or sugary snacks. Not only are these types of snacks more expensive, but they’re also less healthy too – so make sure you head out shopping with a full belly so you can be strong and resist snacking temptation!

4. Be careful not to waste anything

By creating a meal plan and only shopping for ingredients you really need you can make sure you use up everything and that there’s no wastage. Did you know that the average family with children throws out almost £60 worth of totally good food every month? That’s a lot of money to throw away – so make sure you only buy what you’ll eat and that you freeze any leftovers too! To top up your weekly food budget, why not sign up to some paid market research opportunities?

5. Make use of your leftovers

That leads us on nicely to our next point. Instead of grabbing expensive and often unhealthy meal deals for your lunch, why not take your yummy leftovers into work for lunch the next day?  You can even cook bigger portions when making your evening meal to make sure you’ve got enough left for lunches too.

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6. Try meat free Mondays

Meat and fish are typically the most expensive ingredients on the shopping list – so going meat-free on a Monday and adding more vegetables to your meals can make your food go further for less. And who knows, if you like it you could add a few more vegetarian meals to your weekly meal plan to keep those costs down!

7. Consider buying frozen

If you’re concerned about the cost of fresh fruit and veg, frozen alternatives are actually just as good for you. In fact, they’re usually picked at the point of freshness and frozen to seal in their nutrients – and obviously they last longer too! Try frozen berries in smoothies, and of course frozen veg as a side to your meals.

8. Don’t dismiss own-brand

People often dismiss supermarket own-brand food in favour of bigger and better known brands, but actually there’s not much difference in taste at all. Give it a go and let your taste buds be the judge rather than being attracted by shiny labels and flashy ad campaigns.  

9. Cook with pulses

Pulses such as beans and lentils are the superhero of healthy eating on a budget. Not only are they delicious and cheap with a long shelf life, but they’re also high in fibre, vitamins and minerals and count towards your five a day. Try putting chickpeas in your curries or use beans instead of mince for your chili. It will make your meals go further and you can cook up a storm trying out new recipes!

10. Look up cheap recipes

Cheap and healthy doesn’t necessarily mean boring and bland. With so many food bloggers out there constantly competing to come up with innovative ways to eat for less, there’s tons of recipes online to get you excited and inspired. Check out Change4Life’s meal mixer, One Pound Meals and BBC Good Food to get started.

11. Buy cheaper cuts

If you don’t mind taking a little longer with your cooking, buying cheaper cuts of meat is a fantastic way to save money – without scrimping on the taste! Slow cooking cheaper cuts such as braising steak, shin or shoulder slowly break down the fibres, giving you a fantastic taste at a fraction of the cost.

12. Cook from scratch

However tempting it is to order a takeaway after a long day in the office, it’s much healthier and more cost effective to cook for yourself. Preparing and cooking your own meals is much cheaper than splashing out on a takeaway or warming up a ready meal – and because you can control what goes into your dish it’s also healthier too.

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13. Cut down on luxuries

Cutting down on non-essential items in your shopping basket can save you money and make you healthier too. If you find snack bars, crisps and fizzy drinks are regularly sneaking into your shopping basket, try and cut down or swap them for healthier and cheaper alternatives such as sparkling water instead of fizzy drinks and fruit and yogurt instead of biscuits and cakes.

14. Or shop during happy hour

Instead of doing the food shop online, heading to the supermarket at the end of the day to do your food shopping can be a great way to grab a bargain. If you time it right, the reduced to clear shelves can save you a substantial amount of money – just make sure you keep a close eye on use by and best before dates though! Although, if you freeze on the day of purchase this shouldn’t be too much of a problem.

15. Shop seasonally

Food grown in season not only tastes better, but it’s usually cheaper too. From apples and squashes in autumn to broccoli and berries in the summer, not only will shopping seasonally save you money but it can put variety and colour into your diet too! Check out this website for more information and inspiration.

See, we told you being healthy doesn’t need to be boring! If you’re feeling inspired by any of these ideas, we’d love to hear your thoughts – and if you fancy making a bit more money to put towards the weekly shop, why not register with Angelfish to find out about the latest paid market research opportunities?  

Sign Up Here.

paid market research

How does Paid Market Research Work?

How does paid market research work? Well, essentially, you let big brands know what you think about their products and get rewarded for doing so. Simple as that. It gives you the chance to have your say, share your opinions and get paid for it too! Taking part in paid market research basically means you can make a real difference to the way your favourite products are launched, branded, packaged, marketed and priced – and it’s also great fun and a fantastic way to meet like-minded people too.

Sounds good, right? What’s even better is that absolutely anyone can get involved with paid market research as long as you are over the age of 16. You don’t need to be qualified or anything – you just need to want to share your opinions and influence the development of new products and services. Really, that’s it! The way companies use the research will vary for each study but it will usually be used to influence an organisation’s branding, market positioning and ethos. Don’t worry though, we always try and give our participants as much information as possible upfront to make sure they clearly understand the objectives of the research.

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So let’s look at how paid market research works in more depth. To get started, you need to sign up to our panel. We’ll then ask you some brief questions about you as well as your key contact information, and then with a click of a button your sign up is complete – it really is that simple! You’ll then be part of our panel of like-minded people who all want to voice their opinions about the products and services they love – and as soon as there’s an opportunity that is right for you, we’ll be in touch. In fact, depending on the information that you’ve given us, you could be contacted as soon as the next day!

If you’ve been selected to take part in a study then a member of our team will contact you over the phone or drop you an email to discuss the opportunity further. Please bear in mind though that in order to ensure we’re speaking to the right people, each project has specific requirements – so it might be that you aren’t eligible for certain projects that you apply for. But don’t worry, we’ll have more invitations on their way to you soon. And if the project isn’t right for you but you think you know someone who might be perfect for it, you can get paid for referring participants as part of our refer a friend scheme. 

There are a few different ways that brands use paid market research to try and understand how their customers think:

Focus groups

Focus groups are a type of research that involves a group of people coming together to take part in a discussion that’s monitored by a moderator. The discussion can be related to anything from a product, service or potential concept, and you will be asked questions and encouraged to discuss your opinions.

Market research online communities

A market research online community is when a group of people come together in a private and secure online platform to take part in discussions surrounding different products or services, or complete a variety of tasks and activities such as video diaries, blogs, or photo libraries.

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In-home interviews

In-home interviews do exactly what they say on the tin! A researcher will come to you to get to know you and your views in the comfort of your own home – it’s a great way for brands to understand your opinions in your everyday environment.

Accompanied shopping

This is a way for brands to find out why people shop the way they do. It involves a researcher joining you on a shopping trip so they can witness your shopping habits first hand and observe what you do, why you do it and the purchasing decisions you make but without interfering.

Once the research has taken place you’ll receive an incentive as a little thank you for taking part. Incentives vary for each study and can come in the form of cash, cheque, bank transfer or vouchers – and depending on the type of incentive you receive you could receive it on the day or up to three weeks later.

So there you have it. See – we told you it was simple! If you’d like to find out more about how paid market research works with Angelfish or have any other questions, please feel free contact us.

Ready to start making waves with your opinions? 

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