Consumers already take their mobile phones with them everywhere they go. Applications such as ShopKick are hoping to take advantage of this situation to offer special perks to customers at the very moment they are considering items to buy in stores. ShopKick interacts with specific locations in the store and grants special points or kickbucks to customers for checking out the options—almost as if the shopper is Super Mario in the a store!
Unlike other GPS technology applications, ShopKick interacts with receivers located at the front of a store’s entrance. A customer receives points for entering the store, then gets more points for scanning bar codes, perhaps along with the offer of a discount on the item. Currently the application works with American Eagle, Best Buy, Macy’s, Sport’s Authority, and Target, though it hopes to expand quickly among small or midsized local stores, along with large, national retailers. It already has placed around 1000 small business receivers in large markets such as Chicago, Dallas, Detroit, Los Angeles, and New York City.
Although ShopKick is the most exciting new entrant into the market, shopping applications that offer deals are growing more and more targeted across the board. Groupon, LivingSocial, and even Foursquare offer location-based deals. The better options also offer promotions specific to the user’s location, such as at home, at work, or in the store.
The most important objective right now might be just encouraging shoppers to visit stores and the linked places within those stores. Customers may find the process fun or gimmicky at first, but over time, these shopping applications may become their best shopping buddies, telling shoppers where to go for what they need and giving them points for doing so.
- What is ShopKick?
Steve McLinden, “App-titude,” SCT, September 2011.
Kelly Hoover said:
This is such a brilliant idea; I personally shop at many retail stores and it is hard to have to constantly search for coupons through websites or in newspapers. I think this would also be extremely effective because of the higher rate of purchase when a consumer actually enters the store.
William Weimar said:
This is a great idea, but they must also proceed with caution. This provides a ton of value to consumers, but they have to be careful not to frustrate the consumer. Most consumers will not want deals to be popping up on their phone as they pass every store on a street. Also, some consumers are frustrated with the lack of privacy that these GPS applications give off. Although it is difficult to manage, it also presents an incredible opportunity. With more people shopping to get a deal and an increase in the amount of people with smart phones, the market is huge. The big stores will be the first to enter as you can see because stores such as Target and Best Buy are already engaged, but the financial commitment can deter smaller stores from entering. This can have a similar effect as the one I pointed out in the article “Best Buy, Sears, Target lead in Cross-Channel”. Smaller stores can either invest in these ideas and become financially strapped, or they can avoid them and have the possibility of losing their already small market share. This is kind of a lose lose situation for these stores, and there is definitely the potential for this kind of application to decrease competition and make the strong even stronger.
Gabriella Gadson said:
This is a great idea but could overwhelm the consumers. I am not big on coupons because to me it’s a lot of effort looking for them and personal when I go to the store I want to get what I need/want and leave. If the coupon were to come up on my phone while I was passing the store or in the store I will be more willing to use the coupons. This will definitely increase sales because people are always looking for a good deal. My issue with the coupons how do know I would be getting a coupon worth using because there are times I receive coupons that I cannot use based on either preference or the coupon is only for guy clothing. I am still very cautious of the idea, especially if the coupons fill-up my inbox.
This is such an interesting idea. ShopKick is an application that uses a GPS system to track where customers are in a certain store and give them points for being in specific places. It also helps identify where things are in a store, especially in large department stores where things seem to be more scattered. I think this is a good idea, but it seems that while I am shopping I wouldn’t necessarily be interested in having an application point me in the direction of only things I need. I like to walk and look around sometimes and an application like this could get in the way. Overall this has potential and I am interested to see how it has been doing so far.