Innovation That Matters

App rewards shoppers for setting foot in stores


There’s no doubt businesses are starting to realize the broader marketing potential of location-based check-ins. We’ve seen hotels using Topguest, for example, to reward consumers for checking in at a variety of locations; we’ve also seen HBO rewarding “check-ins” to select TV shows. The latest spotting? Shopkick, an app that goes beyond check-ins to reward consumers for actually walking into a store. Currently available for the iPhone, Shopkick’s free app dispenses “kickbucks” reward points for a variety of consumer actions, including standard check-ins at or near the store. It also goes beyond the check-in, however, and rewards consumers further for actually entering the store. An audio transmitter in each participating store emits an inaudible signal that’s nevertheless detected by the app on the consumer’s phone, according to a report in the New York Times, thereby proving that he or she is in the store. That, in turn, entitles the shopper not just to kickbucks but to exclusive deals as well. Participating retailers currently include Best Buy, Macy’s, American Eagle and Sports Authority in New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Chicago, as well as assorted stores in Miami, Dallas and Minneapolis. Eligible visits per day, not surprisingly, are limited. Meanwhile, Shopkick also offers consumers additional rewards when they use their phones to scan products off the shelves. However they’re earned, kickbucks can be redeemed for rewards like gift cards, Facebook credits, iPads, music downloads, donations to causes and more. For each kickbuck a customer earns, Shopkick earns a small fee, the New York Times reported; for each purchase made after using the app, Shopkick gets a portion of the price. Stores, meanwhile, can integrate rewards-card numbers for targeting on an ever-more-granular level. It should be noted that privacy advocates have already expressed some concern over Shopkick’s app, as the NYT reports. Nevertheless, an Android version of the app is reportedly coming soon, promising greater reach in the not-too-distant future. Retailers around the world: how does a little extra foot traffic sound to you? 😉 Spotted by: Oliver Pitt



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