Have you always wanted to share your input on the things you buy or use daily to help make them better than their current state? Well, sharing your shopping habits and feedback on products has never been easier thanks to the National Consumer Panel (NCP).

For 27 years, this market research panel has been gathering consumers’ opinions and shopping data to help manufacturers, retailers and brands make informed decisions on what products to develop, improve or sell via an elite group of market research panelists. The NCP is a joint venture between the parent companies of Nielsen IQ and IRi. The NCP’s main focus is on measuring consumer attitudes and behaviors.

How does the NCP collect feedback on these topics? By hearing what you, the consumer, has to say. Your voice will make a major impact on the consumer-industry when you participate in the NCP’s market research.

If you’re interested in sharing your shopping opinions, you’ll want to join the NCP. It will only take you between 5 to 10 minutes to sign-up. First, you’ll enter your standard registration details such as your name, email, address and birthdate. Then you’ll complete a brief survey about your household demographics. Once you submit this survey, your application to join the NCP will be on its way to be reviewed by the NCP.

While you wait to hear back from the NCP, make sure you add its email addresses to your safe senders list to ensure you won’t miss out on receiving any updates from the panel. If you’re selected to be a panelist, you’ll be contacted by the NCP via email. Eligible participants usually hear back from the NCP on if they’ve been selected or not within a month. Sometimes it can be a longer process though. In the meantime, make sure you connect with the NCP on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and the NCP blog.

If you are selected to participate with the NCP, congratulations! You’ll then be able to consent to receive an NCP barcode scanner or you can download the NCPMobile app onto your smartphone (iOS and Android options are available) and use that for a barcode scanner.

You need the barcode scanner because every time you go shopping, you’ll scan the barcodes of the products you buy. You can also manually enter data for products without barcodes like fruit, veggies, meat, baked goods, gas and prescriptions. You’ll also enter data like the prices of the items, what store(s) you went to and if you made any online purchases.

Scanning the barcodes weekly for the NCP is important because it helps manufacturers, retailers and brands make important marketing decisions, product development decisions and shopping experience decisions so these things can continually be improved and made better for every consumer across the country.

You can also participate in other types of market research from the NCP such as surveys and special studies. The surveys can cover purchasing habits and other consumer-related topics. Some of the more common survey topics can be on snacking habits, household cleaning products, pain relief products and so much more. The special studies usually include logging short- or long-term diaries about your daily or weekly consumption of food and/or drink. The studies could also include logging the details of a product test.

The more market research you participate in, the more you’ll be rewarded! Each time you participate in a piece of market research of scan the items from a shopping trip, you’ll receive points. You can redeem your points for a lot of cool things such as gift cards to a variety of retailers; electronics like video game consoles, TVs, fitness trackers and digital cameras; special discounts for major brands and services; other cool prizes; and even sweepstakes entries.

The NCP holds weekly, monthly and quarterly sweepstakes drawings. So, the more points you earn by participating, the more entries you could gain into these sweepstakes. The quarterly drawing’s prize is for $5,000 as well!

The NCP is free to join and is a completely voluntary market research panel. You’ll NEVER be asked for a social security number or a credit card number. The NCP will also NEVER attempt to sell you anything.

If the National Consumer Panel sounds like the perfect market research opportunity for you, sign up today and get the ball rolling on your application!