Behind the Scenes: Product Owner Ben

Ready for some more behind the scenes info? This time we speak with Product Owner Ben, and ask him all about app development, and what we can expect from the new app. 

  1. You’ve been working for Roamler for a while now, but maybe not everyone remembers you. Can you briefly introduce yourself and tell us exactly what you do at Roamler?

I joined Roamler about 3.5 years ago as a Project & Community Manager at Roamler Belgium, after moving to the Netherlands a year earlier. Before that, I was already doing tasks for Roamler and I really liked the company. When I saw a vacancy for team Belgium in the Netherlands, I immediately applied!

Almost 2 years ago we were looking for a Product Owner for the mobile team and I liked that as well, I applied again and now I am responsible for the development of the Roamler app. My main task is to optimise the value of the product. I do this by finding out how users are using the app, what they need, and by regularly talking to stakeholders to make the app better.

A year ago we came to the conclusion that it would be better to use a new framework to build the app. The whole project has taken blood, sweat, and tears, but now that we are about to release, it is especially exciting!

 

  1. What do you like about your work?

Probably the moments when a feature is ready to be tested. It feels like getting presents at Christmas, time and time again. Getting to see the end result of the whole process and then being the first to see what it will look like is really cool.

On top of that, it really is a privilege to work with this team. They are some of the most talented people I have ever met. They are really excited about the new app because it really feels like we can have an impact on how thousands of Roamlers perform the tasks.

 

  1. What do you find the biggest challenge when setting up the new version of the Roamler app?

We wanted to do this in the first place because we really needed a completely new version of the app. Because we want to go live as soon as possible, sometimes difficult choices have to be made. Which feature do we really want and what can wait?

The app is not used in the same way by everyone. This means that what is important for one person, is not necessary important for the other. Those choices are sometimes extremely difficult. Of course, we try to take feedback from the Roamlers into account as much as possible. In the end, they are the most important.

 

  1. Could you give us a hint: what is your favourite new feature in the app?

That’s hard to choose, but I think the feature that will have the most impact will be the navigation in the questionnaire. Easier navigation between questions has been a much sought-after feature for a long time. I also like the task categories in the app, because it provides a better overview and you will be able to see your favourite tasks at a glance.

A lot of what I like best about the new app is behind the scenes. We have taken really big steps to do much better ‘debugging’ and also the new way of submitting tasks will be much faster than before.

 

  1. What do you think the ideal Roamler app will look like in the future?

In the ideal Roamler app, users will be in control of their own career. They should also be able to take training courses in the app to learn new skills and see new tasks based on those skills. If, for example, you want to work as a handyman, you should be able to do so in the same app, as long as you can submit all the correct certificates, of course.

In addition, it would also be nice if we could create some more community feeling in the app again!

 

  1. Do you have a fun/handy tip for Roamlers when using the app – maybe something you think many Roamlers don’t know about?

In the new app, you will be able to preview the questionnaire for some tasks. This way, you won’t have to accept the task before you start to read the whole task. Very handy if you want to see what you’re going to do before you get started!

 

 

For Roamlers, By Roamlers

As a Roamler you are part of a Community. That’s why we would like to share with you the experiences, motivations and favourite tasks of your fellow Roamlers. For the monthly blog, we gathered some insights from another Roamler Community: the Dutch Roamlers.

The first question we asked them was: “How long have you been a Roamler and why did you start using Roamler?”. It was clear to that most became Roamlers through old fashioned word of mouth. But there was another large part that first hear of Roamler via a blog or social media page.

  • “I’ve been a Roamler for about a year now. I started because a client of mine was very enthusiastic about Roamler. That’s why I wanted to try it for myself.”
  • “Two weeks ago I became a Roamler again after having been an active Roamlers years ago. Why? Because I enjoy the tasks, the extra money is useful, and it gives me a reason to get back on my bike!”
  • “I started a few months ago, to save up for a fun trip: a day out with the kids.”

 

We also asked you what their favourite tasks are. Many Roamlers made it clear they like doing mystery visits, but there is a large group that prefer tasks where they can announce themselves to the staff.

  • “TV screen checks! I like sitting in cafes, so I can do this discreetly while enjoying a drink.”
  • “Red bull tasks really are awesome tasks to do!”

 

Whilst performing tasks can end up in all kinds of situations. We asked them what the craziest / most fun / most exciting experience was whilst performing a Roamler task in 2019. This question also got a couple of remarkable submissions.

  • “During a Red Bull task I was in the supermarket, when suddenly the roof came down because it had been raining so much the night before!”
  • “I decided to drive through the entire province to do as many coffee checks as possible. I drove around the whole province of Groningen!”
  • “Haha, I arrived at a live sport check and everybody thought I was a celebrity.”

 

The last question we asked them was what their Roamler goal is for 2020.
We were happy to hear that many Roamlers indicated that they want to become a Merchandiser in 2020.

  • “Becoming a Merchandiser, to save up for my motorcycle license!”

  • “In 2020 I want to do as many tasks as possible to raise money so I can help a child in Africa buy learning materials for school. I would also like to save up some money to go on holiday. I hope I can achieve my goals through working with Roamler.”

  • “I want to reach a higher Roamler level and save up enough for a weekend trip.”

Community Intern at Roamler

In this blog post we will give you insight into what goes on behind the scenes at Roamler HQ through the eyes of a Community Intern. You’ll get a look into the daily activities at Roamler and see what it’s like to be a Community Intern.

 

First, let me introduce myself, my name is Antonie, I’m 20 years old and at the moment I’m studying Creative Business at the University of Amsterdam. I’m currently doing an internship at Roamler as Community Intern and in this blog post I’ll tell you about why I chose Roamler, what my daily activities are and what I’ve learned about Roamler. I hope that this way I can give you a better view of how Roamler works, so you understand what goes on behind the app on your phone. 😉

As a Creative Business student I work with technology, social media, design and communication, all things that link with the Community Internship at Roamler. When I went to apply for the internship at Roamler HQ everyone was very friendly and I felt that I would enjoy my three month long internship at this office.

As Community Intern my job is to help the Community Manager maintain, improve and support the Roamler community. I mostly do this through our social media channels by creating content that is useful for Roamlers, like a weekly-overview of all the new tasks and all sorts of updates on our Instagram account. I also try to create more interaction between Roamler and the community and within the community itself. I did this with an XP task which increased the RoamlerNL Instagram followers with 30% already! I also set up a Roamler Spotify X-mas playlist, where the Roamlers could add their own favourite Christmas songs.

Apart from creating content for social media I help with reviewing tasks, sending letters, push-notifications, and so on. I have gained a basic understanding of how the company works and communicates. One of the things that I find most interesting is how everybody benefits from working with Roamler. The Roamler community provides Roamler with information which the community is rewarded for. In turn Roamler provides its clients with information about their own product, which Roamler is rewarded for. And finally the client can use this information to improve their business.

Without the Roamlers we couldn’t do these great projects. Roamler aims to make the community as big and happy as possible (as the range of tasks continues to grow). This will not only benefit us but of course also the clients and the Roamler community itself. As a Community intern I try to help make this happen. In the final month of my internship I look forward to seeing the results of my work and hope to improve Roamler wherever I can. That’s why I would like to ask you to leave a comment on this blog post and tell us what kind of useful content you would like to see on our social media channels!

The Roamler Crowd: Young and Old!

As you may already know, the Roamler crowd is very diverse. From young to old, from students to stay-at-home dads, from full-time workers to volunteers. To become a Roamler you do have to be at least 18 years old, but between the ages of 18 and 70, you can find a Roamler of every age! Of course we think this is wonderful! We want to give everybody the opportunity to earn something extra, irrespective of age.

Every Roamler is different, this is partly because of the difference between age groups. Often different age groups have different motivations, goals and motives. We love seeing how Roamler crosses generational boundaries!

From the age of 18, you have the possibility to become a Roamler and earn some extra money by completing tasks in the Roamler app. In theory, you could do this until you’re 100 years old! The only thing you need is a smartphone, and who doesn’t own a smartphone these days?

The Roamler Crowd is made up of teens, people in their twenties, thirties, forties, etc: there is no age group over 18 that you can’t find in the crowd. Our oldest Roamler is an impressive 71 years old!

And everybody has a different reason for using Roamler, while one person uses it to pay for groceries, another might be saving up for a relaxing holiday, or donating it to charity, or buying something nice for the grandchildren!

For the younger generations, Roamler is a flexible way to earn some extra pocket money. Because you decide how much, where and when you perform a task, it’s ideal to combine Roamler with an education or a part time job. For instance, if you haven’t got anything to do in a free period, that’s a good opportunity to earn something extra and to, for example, get yourself a treat for lunch. Or maybe you need a new backpack, a couple of tasks here and there and you will have saved up enough!

Performing a task is not only a handy way to earn some extra money, it can also just be a fun challenge for all ages! You have the possibility to perform lots of challenging tasks and you’ll experience all sorts during these tasks. Perhaps it isn’t a replacement for the gym, but you are certainly being active, and it’s a lot cheaper.
Christmas is also on the way, and for a lot of people this means spending time with family. And, who knows, maybe you have an aunt, niece or grandfather that could use Roamler! 😉

Spending your Roamler earnings!

What do you save your Roamler earnings for? Or do you spend it as soon as you cash out? Are you in level 5 (or higher)? Chances are that you have already completed the XP task “Roamler savings”!

Some Roamlers (9%) have not yet paid out their first Roamler earnings. But the majority of you (91%) have. Of all Roamlers who completed this task, 56% are still saving for something… read below the different savings goals of our Roamlers!

 

– “With my Roamler earnings I pay for my petrol, which I then use to complete other tasks!”

– “I buy fresh sausages for my dog!”

– “I am currently saving for new sailing boots. Otherwise I’ll have cold toes when sailing!”

– “Two beautiful, expensive suitcases bought from my Roamler earnings!”

– “A power bank, so I can keep my phone charged during a long Roamler day!”

– “From my Roamler earnings I have saved for many different things: subscriptions, airline tickets and hostels for a trip!”

– “Studio space, paint and other art supplies.”

– “Lunch boxes for my kids. Those expensive ones, with their name on it. Superfluous but nice. A treat.”

– “I saved the money for my iPhone 8+. To be able to take better photos for my tasks.”

– “This is somewhat random, but I recently bought a Christmas tree from a my Roamler money. I see my Roamler income as a bonus. It is true that I try to spend it on something special.”

– “The first $ 1,000 I earned with Roamler was deposited into my Kiva account through PayPal. As a result, I have now helped 101 small entrepreneurs with a micro-credit of $ 25.00 that gave the company a positive boost. Roamler is a hobby for me, that I can support a good cause with.”

– “Dyson vacuum cleaner and smaller things. The vacuum cleaner because I really wanted it, but I thought it was very expensive…”

– “The reason I have never had my Roamler earnings paid out is because I want to save a large sum of money here, and then get it deposited into my account in one go.”

– “Thanks to the earnings of Roamler, I’m heading to a sunny destination!”

– “The savings goal is to pay for my own education after this study.”

Golden Rules

As a Roamler, and especially as a Roamler Merchandiser, you represent us and our customers in the stores. You can imagine that therefore how representative you are, your attitude and the way in which you conduct a conversation is so important!
In this blog we will tell you the Golden Rules when it comes to visiting a location. This will help you to perform the tasks optimally!

As a Roamler (merchandiser) …

Representative
… you don’t wear caps or other head wear during the visit
… you don’t wear shorts during the visit
… you don’t chew gum during the visit
… you don’t eat or drink during the visit
… you never bring someone else (partner / family member / pet etc.) to a visit!
… you never bring visible branded items from the competitor with you to the location
… you always complete a task via your own account, not via someone else’s Roamler account

Attitude
… you make sure you are always enthusiastic!
… you make sure you always have an active and helpful attitude

Conversation
… you read the tasks carefully in advance, so you know what you have to do!
… you know how to explain Roamler in general
… you are always friendly to everyone during the conversation!
… you always introduce yourself (shake hands, give your name and you speak calmly and clearly) at the desk
… you tell the staff what you would like to do and (when it’s needed) show the explanation letter
… you always consult with the staff where to place any promotional materials
… you never argue with the staff!

By applying these tips, the chance that you get permission from the store to complete the task is much bigger! It’s possible that the store does not give permission for this, which is unfortunate of course, but as said before you never argue about this with staff!

Do you have any questions about this? You can always contact us via UKsupport@roamler.com. We are happy to help if you can use further tips to make your visit as professional as possible!

Why we do what we do

Maybe you are already aware of all the reasons why… But sometimes you might be wondering; why is the task that I’m performing important for the client? In this blog we will give you some insights into the reasons why we are performing jobs for clients.
Read on quickly if you want to learn more!

Why are we doing…..

…product checks?
The client gets insights about the availability of their products. With the pictures and answers you provide in your submissions, we give them immediate insights in their products on the shop floor all over the country (or even Europe). They can use this data to make top-level business decisions for future improvements.

…merchandising tasks?
With building promotional materials, replenishing shelves with products, or with improving the availability and visibility of products in-store, we help our clients provide customers with the best shopping experience at the right time. This will hopefully lead to the the client’s ultimate goal, namely, that the product will begin to sell itself.

…mystery visits?
During the mystery shopping tasks you behave like a real customer. You experience the customer experience and evaluate it afterwards.
With the results of a mystery shopping task, the client tries to improve the customer satisfaction and service qualities of the staff. There are a lot of different types of mystery visits, for example: checking product ranges and shelf layouts in the store, or checking the service at specific locations.
Mystery shopping provides this feedback and gives an objective insight into how a customers experience the staff, presentation and other specific service based performances.

Results that are often obtained by mystery shopping research are:
…optimisation tasks!
Our clients make agreements with the head offices of the retailers and pay a lot of money to promote a certain product (on promotion and on regular shelves).
Example of an agreement: In 80% of the stores, product X is on a promotional spot and the promotion is communicated on the regular shelf with product X.
Clients expect more revenue during such promotions. After all, they are present in two places in the store and the promotion is well communicated.
But it seems that agreements are not always (correctly) met. This way, not only the client, but also the stores miss out on a lot of turnover. You – as a Roamler – help them to ensure that these agreements are followed and executed according to plan.


Before – After

Meet the Team… our new Community Managers!

We are very happy to announce that two new Community Managers started last month. In Belgium Sasha and in Germany Ute started their own ‘Roamler Journey’ as part of the team. And of course: they would like to introduce themselves to you!

Ute speaking:
Roamlers are famous for having an eye for detail, therefore I’m sure you already recognised the messages you received from me. So, I think it’s about time to introduce myself!
I’m Ute, 37 years old and the new Community Manager for Roamler Germany since July. Munich is not only my hometown. it’s also the city I love most!
Before joining Roamler I worked for publication companies for the last 14 years. In my most recent role I worked as a Social Media Manager.

I’m super excited to be part of this big Roamler family, but also to be your partner in crime on all your very exciting Roamler journeys! The opportunity of joining an incredibly passionate team and the ability to actively drive the business immediately triggered my ambition to become part of Roamler, a company that supports “out of the box” thinking and offers a wide range of challenging tasks.

From the first moment on I was really impressed about the great atmosphere and the strong interpersonal skills everyone adds to the team. Maintaining this is a priority for me. During my first week the team already showed how passionate and open-minded they were. I’m really interested in learning more about you (the Roamlers), your creativity and what’s driving you.I’m sure we can learn a lot every single day, given the wide range of Roamler tasks. What I have learned from you already: there is always a way!
I’m keen to learn more: I love mystery shopping, food and besides that: laughing and unicorns!

My tip from me to you:
Get familiar with the wide range of uploading pictures and use the options to leave comments! 😊

Sasha speaking:
My name is Sasha Coppens, I’m 29 years old and I live in Turnhout (near Antwerp).
I have done a lot of different odd jobs in the past. So it’s fair to say I went to the university of life 😉 . After a while I started working for Auto1. This is a company that buys cars from customers and sells them to business partners. I’ve had three different functions within Auto1. I really enjoyed working there for three years but I was in need of a new challenge!

Whilst working for Auto1, I was also a member of the party committee. Here is where I learned – through feedback from my colleagues – I can be creative and am skilled in writing and coming up with creative solutions for small (and sometimes bigger) issues.
Like I said, I was looking for a new challenge in my professional life. This time I took my time to look for something I really liked doing. In being Community Manager for Roamler, I found it! I love the diversity, challenge and colleagues that come with this function.

I have to confess I didn’t know Roamler before I applied for the job, and I also have to confess that my favourite task until now is the Domino’s pizza check. (#foodislife 🍕)

A tip I can give all Roamlers is to place the application on the home screen of their smartphones. That way you remind yourself to regularly check the app and its tasks.

As I want to keep a close contact with the community you can always contact me! If you ever happen to find yourself in Belgium wanting to do a Roamler task, don’t hesitate for a second to contact me with questions, stories or simply to get to know each other. I’m already looking forward to meeting and working with you guys! #roamhardorgohome

A Roamler’s Journey

From a Roamler newbie to an experienced Roamler!
What does the growth of a Roamler look like? Where does it start? What advantages do you have in the higher levels?

One Roamler starts out of curiosity and does it for fun while the other thinks it is a challenge to do as many tasks as possible. Where one is saving for a new car or a holiday, the other does it for relaxation and tries to get to the highest possible level: it is all possible, because you decide for yourself.

After you have completed the level 1 training tasks you can start earning from level 2. There you go! Your first real paid Roamler task: you go to your nearest supermarket and count the shelves and meters. You have to get used to the ‘mystery feeling’ a bit at first, but quickly discover how nice and easy it can be. When you have returned home you receive a message from a reviewer saying “Your first paid job has been approved.” Well done! Your first earned money is added onto your account. You immediately decide to look at more paid tasks for more things to do in the area.

Because you are an enthusiastic Roamler and do different tasks on a daily basis which earns you both XP and money, you have now reached level 3! That goes well and it’s great to see that there are even more tasks to do now in your area. In the experience tasks you see that you can sign up for Roamler merchandising ‘What is Roamler merchandising exactly?’ we hear you thinking. Roamler merchandising is a separate community within the Roamler community that allows you to see even more tasks, more challenging tasks and more practical tasks, such as building displays or replenishing shelves. That’s nice: you take a look in the app and can immediately build a display at the store around the corner.

After a number of months (or years) you are a level 10 Roamler and you, the app and your phone are inseparable. Fortunately, there still are the trusty old checks from a few years ago, but you also have access to more challenging tasks. You have already learned a lot because you have received a lot of feedback from the Roamler team of reviewers. Mistakes are made less and less, so tasks get approved even more often! Where at the beginning you might have been a bit uncomfortable walking through the stores, you now know exactly how to handle it. It gets easier and easier for you.
On to the next level, because there are a lot more levels to come!

Roamler Diary of…

A Roamler Merchandiser!

Claire explains what one of her merchandising days looked like!

I started with Roamler for fun. When I started, I found it more fun and more valuable than I thought. I have my own company where I do a lot of thinking and sitting behind the computer, or I’m in conversation with people. Roaming is a nice change of work for me; being physically active, standing in the middle of daily life, researching and observing and contact with different kinds of people makes it fun. I therefore experience fun and funny things.

What does my average day look like when I do assignments? I check the assignments in the morning. And set a goal for myself how much money I want to earn. That is how I make it a small challenge. If there is enough to do in my own city, I plan my route by bike. Sometimes there are also smaller assignments to be done in a store – I will always complete those as well. I always say this: ”If you do nothing, you won’t have anything anyway”. My favourite merchandising assignment is the Red Bull Shelf Optimisation. The more I do it, the easier it gets. Especially if you do a branch for a second or third time. Even when I’m not roaming, and I find a Red Bull shelf, I have a tendency to tidy up the shelf.

Sometimes I travel through the Netherlands for my work. I recently got stuck in a traffic jam. I thought: If I wait in a traffic jam I might as well kill my time with a Roamler assignment. I took the exit to a village I had never been before, did two assignments and was able to drive home afterwards because the traffic jam was over. I love that about Roamler! Everything is possible in your own time, everywhere and whenever you want. By the way, building up a promotion for the first time is always a bit exciting.

The assignments require some concentration and sometimes improvisation. Sometimes I make a mistake, then I always go back. I learn from it and think: luckily I now know for the next assignment. Once stickers were placed incorrectly by the manufacturer. The promotion did not really work out that way. Together with the store employee we came up with a solution. Once it’s done, I’m always a little proud. It really gives satisfaction and then I think ”Let’s go! on to the next assignment”.