||This article reads like a news release, or is otherwise written in a promotional tone. (June 2016)|
|Headquarters||Redwood City, California|
Shopkick is an American company based in Silicon Valley that created a shopping app for smartphones and tablets that offers customers rewards for walking into stores. It uses points called “kicks” which are usually awarded when users walk into participating stores. Kicks are also awarded by scanning product barcodes or QR Codes using a device's camera, and by making purchases, . The app is currently available for iOS (both iPhone and iPad) and Android devices.
Kicks can be redeemed for various rewards such as gift cards, iTunes song downloads, movie tickets, and Facebook Credits, among others. Rewards are relatively low. The first prize level consists of $2 for various retailers like Amazon, Target, etc. Users can also receive special discounts on specific products at specific stores. Partner stores currently include Target, Best Buy, Macy’s, Crate & Barrel, Old Navy, American Eagle Outfitters, Sports Authority, JCPenney, and many others. The program is also supported by 70 brands, which currently include P&G, Unilever, Mondelez, Colgate, Revlon, Disney, Levi's and HP.
Shopkick receives a fee for each kick a customer earns. If a customer buys something after using the app, shopkick gets a percentage of the price. On July 23, 2013, shopkick launched in-app purchasing so that users can browse and buy products while using the app.
Shopkick reached its first profitable quarter in Q4 2012, and produced $200M in revenue for its partners in 2012, and $500M in 2013 and was ranked the most widely used and most engaging shopping app in the real world by Nielsen in 2012.
In October 2014, shopkick launched in Germany with 10 retail and brand partners nationwide and ProSiebenSat.1 as a strategic partner, in shopkick's first international expansion.
Also in October 2014, shopkick was acquired for over $200M in cash by SK planet, part of SK Group and SK Telecom, a Fortune 100 company and the mobile commerce market leader in South Korea, in the largest mobile commerce transaction to date.
Early 2016, shopkick acquired the technology and team of Theneeds to support the company personalization efforts as it continues to re-imagine the shopping experience for consumers, retailers and brands.
Shopkick, based in Redwood City, California (in Silicon Valley), was co-founded by Cyriac Roeding, Jeff Sellinger, and Aaron Emigh in 2009 and has investors that include venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, as well as Reid Hoffman (co-founder of LinkedIn Corp), and Greylock Partners. The company has raised $20 million in venture funding.
In November 2010, shopkick announced it had added Target to its list of retailers deploying its platform and mobile app. Target also offers scannable mobile coupons to customers for redemption at checkout. In May 2011, Crate and Barrel joined shopkick. Shopkick added Old Navy, a Gap Inc. brand, to its list of retail partners in November 2011. Shopkick and ExxonMobil partnered in April 2012 to give mobile reward to customers at more than 375 gas stations in Miami, New York and Washington, D.C.
In May 2012, Target announced it would be integrating all 1,764 of their stores nationwide with shopkick. Target was testing out the app with their stores in 7 cities previously, and quoted "rave reviews" as the reason to roll out nationwide. American Eagle also rolled out shopkick nationwide to all its 1,000 stores. Mastercard announced a partnership with shopkick in July 2012 that will allow their cardholders to earn “kicks” by linking their card with shopkick’s Buy & Collect program.
Sports Authority and the Sony store has joined the walk in program as well. Others sporadically participate with batches of products - including Walgreens with scans of their private label and the Verizon Wireless stores. However, this participation is usually only for limited intervals.
Shopkick drove $200M in revenue for its partners in 2012, and reached its first profitable quarter in Q4 2012. American Eagle's EVP Fred Grover said "Our Shopkick customers buy twice as often as a non-Shopkick user and have helped increase in-store traffic.". In 2014, shopkick announced it had driven over $1 billion in revenue for its partners, $500M of which came in the previous 12 months.
Nielsen ranked shopkick as the most widely used shopping app in the real world in 2012 (more than any physical retailers' own apps), and as the most engaging shopping app (min spent/user).
Retailers using shopkick say they find they can drive more customers into stores by offering additional reward points. One of the partner retailers is estimating $50 million in measurable incremental revenue as a result of the shopkick mobile app.
Unlike other location-enabled applications, shopkick doesn't rely on GPS triangulation., because GPS is too inaccurate to detect true presence of consumers in stores. Instead, shopkick created a highly accurate inaudible audio signal that is unique to each store that can be detected by smartphone users who have the shopkick app installed, when the app is open. Once a shopkick Signal is detected, the app delivers reward points called “kicks” to the user for walking into a retail store, trying on clothes, scanning a barcode and other actions. The audio signal is broadcast through a small transmitter in the store (no internet required, just power). Shopkick also rolled out a Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) presence solution (Apple iBeacon-compatible) in its audio/iBeacon hybrid called shopBeacon. With over 8,000 large stores deployed (including all Macy's and Old Navy stores), shopkick has the largest iBeacon deployment worldwide in retail as of early 2015.
Awards and Accolades
- World Economic Forum, Tech Pioneer 2013: http://www.weforum.org/videos/technology-pioneer-2013-cyriac-roeding-shopkick
- The Wall Street Journal, Top 10 Apps of 2010: http://blogs.wsj.com/digits/2010/12/31/the-top-ten-iphone-and-android-apps-of-2010/
- Fast Company, World’s 10 Most Innovative Companies in Retail: http://www.fastcompany.com/1738961/the-10-most-innovative-companies-in-retail
- Mashable, Top 10 Apps to Watch in 2011: http://mashable.com/2011/01/04/10-apps-to-watch-in-2011/
- TechCrunch, 2011 Crunchie Award runner up in the Best Social Commerce App category
- Target’s Best of the Bullseye Award for partner excellence
The fourth version of the app, released on October 30, saw a sharp decline in user satisfaction, with the newest version drawing less than four stars among user reviews in the Apple App Store. Many users have complained that shopkick will deactivate accounts and prevent users from cashing in their kicks. It's unclear what happens to the data and who actually benefits from these situations. Retailers and manufacturers generally participate in these programs because they are trying to build customer satisfaction. Users would argue that this practice defeats the purpose.
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- WWD, “InStyle Teams Up with Shopkick,” http://www.wwd.com/fashion-blogs/instyle_teams_up_with_shopkick-11-08
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- Toys "R" Us, “A reward for showing up,” http://www.internetretailer.com/commentary/2011/10/05/reward-showing
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