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Industry Media
Founded 2009
Headquarters Redwood City, California

Shopkick is an American company based in Silicon Valley that created a shopping app for smartphones and tablets that offers users rewards for shopping activities both online and in-stores such as walking into stores, scanning items, making in-app or in-store purchases and submitting receipts. Users are awarded "kicks" for these actions, and can exchange them for rewards in the form of mobile gift cards. 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 to places like Target, Walmart, and Starbucks as well as donations to charities such as Feeding America and the American Red cross. Most reward denominations start at $2 for various retailers such as TJ Maxx and American Eagle. Shopkick also aggregates deals, sales, and coupons from local brands and retailers for users. Partner stores currently include Best Buy, American Eagle Outfitters, Carter’s,, Torrid, Marshalls, Yankee Candle, TJ Maxx and others. Over time, product kicks have been offered by major brands including P&G, Unilever, Mondelez, and L’Oreal.

Shopkick’s business model is pay-for-performance, with partners working with the company to determine their specific ROI – like in-app content views, products scanned or sold. Shopkick only earns money when the action is completed.[1]

As of April 2017, Shopkick had driven over 200 million store visits, over 270 million product scans in aisle, and over $2.5 billion in total sales from brand and retail partners[1] and was ranked the most engaging shopping app by App Annie in 2017.

In October 2014, Shopkick was acquired by SK planet, subsidiary of SK Telecom, the largest telecommunication carrier in Korea, which is also a part of SK Group, a Fortune 100 company. In early 2016, Shopkick acquired the technology and team of Theneeds to support the company's personalization efforts as it continues to re-imagine the shopping experience for consumers, retailers and brands.

In April 2017, Shopkick launched Shopkick Grocery, a product that lets users earn more rewards on their everyday grocery shopping. New products included branded video, list-building, branded content integrations, and kicks for receipts.[1]

In August 2017 Shopkick launched Mobile Shopping with partners like eBay, Groupon, Apple, Boxed and Users can now get rewarded for browsing and making purchases online as well as in stores. "This is an opportunity to get in front of a captive audience that wouldn’t necessarily be native to us—this is a new audience for us," said Marie Langhout-Franklin, head of partner marketing at eBay.[2]


Shopkick, based in Redwood City, California (in Silicon Valley), was co-founded by Cyriac Roeding, Jeff Sellinger, and Aaron Emigh in 2009[3] 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.[4] The company raised over $20 million in venture funding before being purchased by SK Planet.

CEO Cyriac Roeding, founder and EVP of CBS’s mobile unit, created the concept of rewards for walking into stores while an entrepreneur-in-residence at Kleiner Perkins.

The Shopkick app was released in August 2010, initially with five national retail partners on board: Macy’s, Best Buy, Sports Authority and American Eale Outfitters, and the Simon Property Group.

Other retailers that also have participated or currently are participating in the Shopkick program include Target, TJMaxx, Marshalls, BevMo, Old Navy, Carter’s and OshKosh, Saks Off Fifth, Reebok, Disney Stores, Crate & Barrel, JCPenney, Bare Escentuals and Bed Bath & Beyond.

Shopkick also works with many CPG companies, who leverage the mobile rewards platform to reach shoppers while they are in-stores and drive sales without relying on coupons. Brand partners include COTY, Unilever, Mondelez, Hallmark, Barilla, Kraft, Georgia Pacific, Time Inc., Constellation Brands, American Greetings, Bayer, Nestle Purina, and General Mills.


As of April 2017, Shopkick had driven over 200 million store visits, over 270 million product scans in aisle, and over $2.5 billion in total sales from brand and retail partners.[1] 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."[5] In 2014, Shopkick announced it had driven over $1 billion in revenue for its partners, $500M of which came in the previous 12 months.

In 2017, App Annie ranked Shopkick as the most engaging shopping app, with the most sessions and time spent per user per month in app.

Retailers using Shopkick say they find they can drive more customers into stores by offering additional reward points.[6] One of the partner retailers is estimating $50 million in measurable incremental revenue as a result of the Shopkick mobile app.[7]


Unlike other location-enabled applications, Shopkick doesn't rely solely on GPS triangulation,[8] because GPS technology is too inaccurate to detect the presence of consumers in stores.

Instead, Shopkick created a highly accurate inaudible audio signal, unique to each store, which can be detected by smartphone users who have the Shopkick app installed, when the app is open.[9] 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.[7] 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.

Awards and accolades[edit]

  • 2017 Appy Award Finalist for Shopkick Grocery in Best App in Marketing/Branding/Advertising[10]
  • Golden Bevies Solution Provider of the Year (2015)[11]
  • Inc's 500 Fastest Growing Private Companies (2014)[12]
  • World Economic Forum, Tech Pioneer 2013[13]
  • The Wall Street Journal, Top 10 Apps of 2010[14]
  • Fast Company, World’s 10 Most Innovative Companies in Retail[15]
  • Mashable, Top 10 Apps to Watch in 2011[16]
  • TechCrunch, 2011 Crunchie Award runner-up in the Best Social Commerce App category
  • Target's Best of the Bullseye Award for partner excellence

User reviews[edit]

On April 11, 2017, Shopkick released its fifth version of the app, called Shopkick Grocery, with new features including kicks for receipts, shopping lists, and recipes. As of June 16, 2017 Shopkick had 4.5 Stars in the Apple App Store,[17] with users reporting they enjoy earning extra cash, as well as the treasure hunt aspect of the app, and that it makes shopping more fun.


  1. ^ a b c d Sarah Perez. Shopkick’s rewards shopping app expands to grocery stores. TechCrunch. April 11, 2017.
  2. ^ April Berthene. Mobile rewards app Shopkick expands into rewarding online shoppers, and eBay wants in on its loyal mobile audience.. Digital Commerce 360. Aug 15, 2017.
  3. ^ "CrunchBase corporate page for shopkick". CrunchBase.
  4. ^ GEOFFREY A. FOWLER (31 January 2011). "Mobile Apps Drawing in Shoppers, Marketers". The Wall Street Journal. Dow Jones & Company, Inc. Retrieved 1 June 2012.
  5. ^ Graham, Jeff (24 October 2012). "American Eagle Outfitters rolls out shopkick in all of its U.S. stores". USA Today. Retrieved 25 October 2012.
  6. ^ Fowler, Geoffrey A. (31 January 2011). "Mobile Apps Drawing in Shoppers, Marketers". The Wall Street Journal.
  7. ^ a b "Location-Based Shopping App Shopkick Now 3 Million Users Strong; 1B Deals Viewed". TechCrunch. 2012-01-24. Retrieved 2013-10-25.
  8. ^ Jason Ankeny (2011-02-22). "Innovator: Shopkick's Cyriac Roeding Reinvents Retail". Retrieved 2013-10-25.
  9. ^ Banks, Courtney (31 December 2010). "Top 10 Apps of '10". The Wall Street Journal.
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  17. ^ "shopkick on the App Store on iTunes". Retrieved 16 June 2017.

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