Shopkick app combats barcode readers through loyalty offers

Feb 1, 2012
Shopping

When it comes to shopping, most mobile apps offer options. RedLaser from eBay, for example, is used for scanning barcodes on products in order to comparison shop between brick-and-mortar retailers and online offers. Amazon Mobile, another example, also contains a barcode reader and allows users to purchase products directly from the online retailer. But rather […]

When it comes to shopping, most mobile apps offer options. RedLaser from eBay, for example, is used for scanning barcodes on products in order to comparison shop between brick-and-mortar retailers and online offers. Amazon Mobile, another example, also contains a barcode reader and allows users to purchase products directly from the online retailer.

But rather than offer alternatives to traditional stores, Shopkick takes a different approach. The app works with retailers to provide loyalty rewards that encourage app users to shop inside stores such as Target and Best Buy, where the money they spend goes toward earning points and rewards to be put toward additional purchases.

According to a story from GigaOM, Shopkick helped retailers bring in an additional $110 million in revenue during 2011. The app has about 3 million active users and is partnered with 11 retailers, with functionality covering 11,000 stores throughout the U.S. Shopkick offers apps both on Apple’s iOS platform for the iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad, as well as on Google’s Android operating system.

Shopkick launched in August 2010 as something of a loyalty system for its partner stores, using location-based software to log when users entered stores and reward them for it. That means stores require special boxes that send and receive signals from smartphones to log users’ Shopkick apps to make the system work. However, back in November, Shopkick partnered with Visa to takes things to the next level. The partnership allowed Shopkick to offer users rewards for spending in the stores they visited, including dropping in-store offers and other incentives.

READ  Clean up your act with these mobile apps

Another way Shopkick is changing the mobile shopping game is by helping brands reach customers even when they’re not in stores. In May, the company behind the app announced a partnership with CW TV, in which users were offered incentives by making use of the app during certain commercials.

Lots of apps are working to help send customers out of stores or make it easier for them to buy things from wherever they are. Mobile shopping records were set during the holiday season of 2011, largely because users are becoming more comfortable with their phones and with ordering products through the Internet. Shopkick, however, shows that apps are useful in a variety of ways when it comes to shopping, reinforcing that actually going into a store can have its advantages, too.

Search for more

Phil Hornshaw

Phil Hornshaw is a freelance writer, editor and author living in Los Angeles, dividing his time between playing video games, playing video games on his cell phone, and writing about playing video games. He’s also the co-author of So You Created a Wormhole: The Time Traveler’s Guide to Time Travel, which attempts to mix time travel pop culture with some semblance of science, as well as tips on the appropriate means of riding dinosaurs. Check out his profile.

    Home Apps Games