Shopkick, Launching Today, Is Foursquare For Shopping — With Actual Rewards

by George Peabody 0

By George Peabody, Director, EmergingTechnologies

Shopkick, a mobile merchandising and loyalty program that’s beena poorly kept secret, is about to launch in some top brand namestores. While not a payments application, it takes the consumerright up to the edge of payments and, as such, it merits theattention of the payments industry.

If Shopkick is able to find the balance point between greatcustomer experience (it has to be fun, not annoying), customervalue (it has to deliver something worthwhile), merchant cost, andprivacy (this concern is not going away), the company will show away for future mobile applications. It will also represent thecompetition that payments-only mobile applications will face.Payments integration into the customer experience will be key.

“Shopkick, a San Francisco-based startup, launches its flagshipiPhone app today, and it’s right at the interesting junction ofmobile apps, location-based services, and commerce. Someone isgoing to make money here someday, and Shopkick is one of the mostambitious, interesting attempts we’ve seen.

The idea is that when you walk into a store that Shopkickpartners with, you start to earn rewards — “Kickbucks” — just forwalking in. (There’s actually a device in the store that connectsto your phone). Its early partners include nationwide chains likeBest Buy, American Eagle Outfitters, Macy’s, and the SportsAuthority, as well as shopping-mall outfit Simon PropertyGroup.”

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