Just walk in and collect: Mobile application offers consumer rewards just for walking into a store
shopkick offers the first location-based mobile application that promises consumer offers and rewards not only for shopping, but also for just walking into a retail location. Unlike traditional GPS location-based services that require a shopper to “check in,” and offer an accuracy radius of 100 to 1,000 yards (within a block or two), “shopkick Signal” technology requires no consumer check in and can guarantee that a user is truly present in the retail location. The “shopkick” app is due to launch over the coming weeks.
The Best Buy store, 13th & Harrison, San Francisco, CA will be the first shopkick enabled store. For Best Buy, shopkick is part of an experiment in select U.S. stores to explore the likelihood that consumers will value and redeem rewards points and offers through mobile retail applications. Best Buy integrated shopkick directly into its point of sale system in its San Francisco store to streamline the redemption of special offers. Customers may walk up to the cashier, provide the mobile phone number connected to their shopkick app, and any applicable personalized discounts immediately appear on their receipt.
How it works
Consumers choose to download the free “shopkick” mobile application for their smart phones. (The “shopkick” app for iPhone will be available in the coming weeks on the App Store, followed by apps for additional smart phones.) When the “shopkick” app is open on the smart phone, it detects the “shopkick Signal” technology installed in the retail location as the consumer walks through the door, and the shopper instantly receives rewards, called “kickbucks.” Because the detection occurs on the consumer's phone, the privacy of presence information is completely under the user's control.
“kickbucks” can be immediately redeemed for Facebook credits, songs from Napster, immediate in-store cash-back rewards at shopkick partner stores, magazine subscriptions, even donations to charities. Retailers like Best Buy that support the “shopkick” app also will deliver consumers special in-store deals, and/or added bonuses for scanning barcodes of specific products. Similar to the “cost per click” traffic-based online business model, retailers will pay shopkick only for those consumers who walk into their stores with the “shopkick” app recognizing the in-store “shopkick Signal” system.
“We asked ourselves: 'If foot traffic is the challenge for physical retailers, then why does nobody ever reward consumers for walking into stores?' Best Buy was the first retailer to share in our vision that the future of retail lies in mobile. Now, consumers can get rewarded not just for shopping, but simply for walking into a store. Our 'shopkick Signal' technology is so precise that for that first time, location-based rewards are economically viable for retailers, because consumers are truly inside the store, rather than elsewhere in the vicinity of the store, such as the parking lot.”
— Cyriac Roeding, co-founder and CEO, shopkick
“Smart phones and mobile technology, increasingly used for research during the shopping process, are bridging digital and physical shopping experiences in promising ways for consumers – in the store, from check in to check out, right on their smart phones. The convergence of location technology and rewards to personalize an experience with Best Buy is at the heart of our vision of the connected world, and we will work with services like shopkick that can add value to our customers.”
— Richard Rommel, senior vice president, new business customer solutions group, Best Buy
About shopkick, Inc.
shopkick, Inc. is a new Palo Alto-based startup funded by the Kleiner Perkins iFund, Greylock Partners, and Reid Hoffman, founder of LinkedIn and investor in Facebook and Zynga, that brings the power of the mobile internet to the retail experience. shopkick launched its mobile application CauseWorld in the United States in December 2009, in partnership with Citi, Kraft Foods and Procter & Gamble, which became the fastest-growing location-based retail app in the App Store within weeks from launch.