Phillips describes the new venture as an attempt to streamline and automate the process of testing new product concepts, ad creative and other ideas.
Its site allows visitors to select what they want to test and to choose their audience (based on number of people, geographic location, age, gender and other variables). The creative being tested then needs to be uploaded before a pre-defined survey is sent to respondents.
The price of the project depends on the sample selected. A new product test involving 200 UK adults aged 18 to 75 would cost £1,195 and take four hours to turn around, rising to £3,384 and 13 hours for a survey of 1,100 people.
Phillips said that in early conversations, clientside researchers have been particularly enthusiastic about the speed of turnaround. “My sense is that clientside researchers are annoyed at being left out of things because the research process is seen as taking too long,” he said.
“They want to get more involved in helping design products, test concepts and develop business ideas. But when they say, ‘We can do some research for you that will really help, so could you just stop the process for four weeks?’, the project sponsor will refuse. It’s not that they doubt the value of research, but that’s just not the way business works anymore.”
ZappiStore’s apps are currently available in the UK, Australia and the US, but Phillips said that the $20k prize money will be put towards developing French and German-language versions of the surveys.
Further apps are in development, Phillips said. “I’d like to think that by this time next year there’ll be a portfolio of 10 or so apps for people to buy.”