Imagine that you are a global apparel company and you want to know how your new line of shirts are being displayed in department stores across the country. Now, imagine you have your very own nationwide force of “mystery shoppers” that could almost instantly and credibly report back to you. Even include photos. Anywhere. Anytime. Well, that’s exactly what businesses are now able to tap into through a promising new mobile app called Gigwalk.
Gigwalk acts as the middleman for businesses interested in gathering data on everything: prime real-estate locations, the layout of retail store floors, the efficacy of store managers, and the cleanliness of restaurant bathrooms. Anything and everything is a possibility. If you want to know more about how your business is, will, or can fare in a particular space, Gigwalk now makes it possible for you to do so for little cost.
It works like this: imagine your company is looking to gather some information about how your product is being presented in a retail store in relation to your competitors. Gigwalk allows you to post a task requesting answers to questions about the placement of the product, photos of its layout in relation to competitors, and offers a monetary reward for the tasks’ successful completion (typically between $3 to $90, depending on the location and difficulty of the task). An algorithm connects users in the area who might be able to successfully complete the task for the business through a combination of variables such as previously successfully completed tasks (earning you “streetcred”), education level, occupation, age, among others. Users can still explore any task and attempt to complete it, so long as they meet the “streetcred” requirement (have enough experience completing relevant tasks) and any other requirement such as an age limit (typically in place for bars or market research requirements).
Gigwalk’s initial success (it has just announced seed financing of $1.7 million from several VCs) can be chalked up to its unique combination of a number of collaborative and social tools, including mobile location services and crowdsourced collaboration, which in turn lead the app into the gamification realm, effectively allowing users to explore their city and earn real money while doing so. Just signing in and opening the app provides the user with a sense of excitement as they peruse the opportunities to explore and earn in their very own backyard. It’s for this reason its almost impossible to refer to Gigwalk as simply a business helping solve real business problems, though it clearly is, it has the potential to be so much more than that.
The opportunity for a business model such as Gigwalk’s to disrupt several industries clearly exists. The company has just started to scratch the surface of the possible business problems, no matter what size, that can be outsourced and crowdsourced through the use of novel location services and gamification. The most immediate opportunity for corporate offices to utilize the consumer as watchdogs, transmitting instantaneous feedback to HQ to ensure that stores and franchises are in compliance with corporate, but also that consumer brands that pay for product placement in shops are receiving the visibility they pay good money for. The app also promises to cut costs down for civic services such as road repairs, collecting data at intersections and public parks, and surveying land. A quick run through of the “gigs” available in major cities leads one to believe that health and liquor inspectors have already gravitated towards the service.
Gigwalk is onto something that appeals to both users and businesses, where everyone comes out feeling as if they have received something of value having participated directly in the outcome. The potential of the combination of geo-location, gamification, and crowdsourced data collection will surely lead to a plethora of business solutions that we are only beginning to see.
You can learn more about Gigwalk here. This one is a potential gamechanger.