Shoppers can now actually make money at malls, instead of spending it, with the help of a mystery shopper app. Satish Kumar / The National
Shoppers can now actually make money at malls, instead of spending it, with the help of a mystery shopper app. Satish Kumar / The National

The app that allows you to earn not spend at UAE malls



DUBAI // A smartphone app that allows people to be paid for becoming a mystery shopper has been downloaded almost 1,000 times in a month.

UAE consumers can use ShopperInput to respond to requests posted by businesses to visit shops, report back on their experience and get paid for doing so.

“The response we have had from the public has been very good bearing in mind we only went public with the smartphone app about six weeks ago,” said Robert Keay, chief executive at Ethos Integrated Solutions, a customer-service consultancy in Dubai that developed the app.

“Since then we have had 895 people sign up and that was during Ramadan and Eid, when many people are away on holiday.”

There is no limit on the number of jobs a mystery shopper can do. A typical job lasts up to half an hour and consumers get paid directly into a PayPal account about an hour after the job.

Mystery shoppers with the best responses get priority for future jobs.

A range of businesses are taking advantage of the new app, including clothes stores, banks, foreign exchanges and restaurants.

Fast-food outlets are also expected to be part of the system soon and demand for the app is expected to increase.

“It’s very promising because we haven’t done any advertising or promotion of the app apart from some social-media stuff,” he said.

“Things will start to pick up from September and we expect to attract about 1,000 new people to use the app each month.

“There is a real interest among people to take part and the people who have downloaded or used our website are completely new.

“We are yet to start encouraging our existing 12,000 mystery shoppers to sign up for it.”

The attraction of the app is that people can earn an average of between Dh40 and Dh50 per job as a mystery shopper.

“There is usually more than one job available so if you’re at a mall you can do a couple of jobs and earn Dh100 or more very easily.”

So far 241 mainly Dubai-based businesses have provided jobs for mystery shoppers via the app and more are expected to follow soon.

“It’s always a bit of a chicken and egg situation. Do you go for customers or the clients who provide the jobs?” said Mr Keay.

“We are going for the clients and our focus is on getting more jobs posted on the app for people to do.

“We expect things to pick up from September as people return from their holidays.”

In two weeks the company is planning to launch a service that will allow companies to send out surveys for customers to fill in.

“Businesses are really keen on getting real customer feedback and I think more will come onboard. “We have had discussions with three major retailers about this service.”

The app has been welcomed by the public.

“It’s a great idea and I’ll definitely look into getting the app,” said Lucy Banks, an HR worker from Bristol, UK.

“If you’re in the mall anyway and can make a bit of extra cash by taking part in something like this then it makes sense.

“It’s something people will be interested in doing and hopefully the shops that get feedback can improve their service.”

Others criticised the level of customer service in many retailers and hoped the responses from customers would spur them to improve their service.

“The problem in many stores is that the people working there are only told to push for a sale,” said Jim French, a finance consultant from London, UK.

“It’s really annoying because when you ask a shop assistant a simple question about a product they usually don’t have a clue about the product and end up reading the details on the box.

“I don’t blame the staff because it’s not their fault. They are only doing what they are being told.”

ShopperInput is available from Apple’s App store and Google Play.

For more information visit www.shopperinput.com.

nhanif@thenational.ae

GREATEST ROYAL RUMBLE CARD

The line-up as it stands for the Greatest Royal Rumble in Saudi Arabia on April 27

50-man Royal Rumble

Universal Championship
Brock Lesnar (champion) v Roman Reigns

Casket match
The Undertaker v Rusev

Intercontinental Championship
Seth Rollins (champion) v The Miz v Finn Balor v Samoa Joe

SmackDown Tag Team Championship
The Bludgeon Brothers v The Usos

Raw Tag Team Championship
Sheamus and Cesaro v Bray Wyatt and Matt Hardy

United States Championship
Jeff Hardy (champion) v Jinder Mahal

Singles match
Triple H v John Cena

To be confirmed
AJ Styles will defend his WWE World Heavyweight title and Cedric Alexander his Cruiserweight Championship, but matches have yet to be announced

MATCH INFO

Inter Milan 2 (Vecino 65', Barella 83')

Verona 1 (Verre 19' pen)

The biog

Favourite food: Tabbouleh, greek salad and sushi

Favourite TV show: That 70s Show

Favourite animal: Ferrets, they are smart, sensitive, playful and loving

Favourite holiday destination: Seychelles, my resolution for 2020 is to visit as many spiritual retreats and animal shelters across the world as I can

Name of first pet: Eddy, a Persian cat that showed up at our home

Favourite dog breed: I love them all - if I had to pick Yorkshire terrier for small dogs and St Bernard's for big

COMPANY PROFILE

Company: Eco Way
Started: December 2023
Founder: Ivan Kroshnyi
Based: Dubai, UAE
Industry: Electric vehicles
Investors: Bootstrapped with undisclosed funding. Looking to raise funds from outside

COMPANY PROFILE

Name: Ejari
Based: Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
Founders: Yazeed Al Shamsi, Fahad Albedah, Mohammed Alkhelewy and Khalid Almunif
Sector: PropTech
Total funding: $1 million
Investors: Sanabil 500 Mena, Hambro Perks' Oryx Fund and angel investors
Number of employees: 8

Blue Beetle

Director: Angel Manuel Soto
Stars: Xolo Mariduena, Adriana Barraza, Damian Alcazar, Raoul Max Trujillo, Susan Sarandon, George Lopez
Rating: 4/5 

Scream VI

Directors: Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gillett

Stars: Melissa Barrera, Jasmin Savoy Brown, Jack Champion, Dermot Mulroney, Jenna Ortega, Hayden Panettiere and Courteney Cox

Rating: 3/5

UAE medallists at Asian Games 2023

Gold
Magomedomar Magomedomarov – Judo – Men’s +100kg
Khaled Al Shehi – Jiu-jitsu – Men’s -62kg
Faisal Al Ketbi – Jiu-jitsu – Men’s -85kg
Asma Al Hosani – Jiu-jitsu – Women’s -52kg
Shamma Al Kalbani – Jiu-jitsu – Women’s -63kg
Silver
Omar Al Marzooqi – Equestrian – Individual showjumping
Bishrelt Khorloodoi – Judo – Women’s -52kg
Khalid Al Blooshi – Jiu-jitsu – Men’s -62kg
Mohamed Al Suwaidi – Jiu-jitsu – Men’s -69kg
Balqees Abdulla – Jiu-jitsu – Women’s -48kg
Bronze
Hawraa Alajmi – Karate – Women’s kumite -50kg
Ahmed Al Mansoori – Cycling – Men’s omnium
Abdullah Al Marri – Equestrian – Individual showjumping
Team UAE – Equestrian – Team showjumping
Dzhafar Kostoev – Judo – Men’s -100kg
Narmandakh Bayanmunkh – Judo – Men’s -66kg
Grigorian Aram – Judo – Men’s -90kg
Mahdi Al Awlaqi – Jiu-jitsu – Men’s -77kg
Saeed Al Kubaisi – Jiu-jitsu – Men’s -85kg
Shamsa Al Ameri – Jiu-jitsu – Women’s -57kg

If you go:
The flights: Etihad, Emirates, British Airways and Virgin all fly from the UAE to London from Dh2,700 return, including taxes
The tours: The Tour for Muggles usually runs several times a day, lasts about two-and-a-half hours and costs £14 (Dh67)
Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is on now at the Palace Theatre. Tickets need booking significantly in advance
Entrance to the Harry Potter exhibition at the House of MinaLima is free
The hotel: The grand, 1909-built Strand Palace Hotel is in a handy location near the Theatre District and several of the key Harry Potter filming and inspiration sites. The family rooms are spacious, with sofa beds that can accommodate children, and wooden shutters that keep out the light at night. Rooms cost from £170 (Dh808).

MATCH INFO

Championship play-offs, second legs:

Aston Villa 0
Middlesbrough 0

(Aston Villa advance 1-0 on aggregate)

Fulham 2
Sessegnon (47'), Odoi (66')

Derby County 0

(Fulham advance 2-1 on aggregate)

Final

Saturday, May 26, Wembley. Kick off 8pm (UAE) 

Captain Marvel

Director: Anna Boden, Ryan Fleck

Starring: Brie Larson, Samuel L Jackson, Jude Law,  Ben Mendelsohn

4/5 stars

Kill

Director: Nikhil Nagesh Bhat

Starring: Lakshya, Tanya Maniktala, Ashish Vidyarthi, Harsh Chhaya, Raghav Juyal

Rating: 4.5/5

Company Profile

Company name: Hoopla
Date started: March 2023
Founder: Jacqueline Perrottet
Based: Dubai
Number of staff: 10
Investment stage: Pre-seed
Investment required: $500,000


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