A big bump in business for bricks-and-mortar mobile shopping app Shopkick: the company has signed a significant deal with Old Navy clothing stores to add another 1,000 retail outlets to Shopkick’s network, bringing the total number of stores served today to 4,000.
Shopkick says that the deal will kick off (heh heh) with an offer of $10 off a $40 purchase for the partnership’s opening weekend, November 10-13. Users will also earn 150 kicks (Shopkick’s term for reward points) for Shopkick’s loyalty program. Users can redeem these for in-store gift cards, song downloads, movie tickets, Facebook Credits, and charitable donations.
Old Navy is now the 11th, and possibly largest, retailer to partner with Shopkick. The service works by using a special radio installed in stores to send signals to a users’ iPhone or Android device, which Shopkick claims is more accurate than the GPS traditionally used to push deals to shoppers. The Shopkick app then recognizes the signal and it triggers a deal to be pushed to the user.
The business of phone-based loyalty programs seems to be growing by the day, and companies are coming at the opportunity from different angles — many of which go nowhere near the NFC “waving” technology that many beliee will be the future of mobile transactions.
Square, the mobile payments startup that yesterday announced funding from Richard Branson, just last week upgraded its Card Case app with geofencing technology that lets uses automatically buy goods from participating retailers without even presenting their handsets. That app also lets users keep virtual copies of their loyalty cards, which get topped up through the app as well.
Shopkick claims to be the biggest mobile shopping app on the market today, with some 2.5 million active users.
Although some might argue that it’s only a small group of early adopters who are using apps like this, it’s interesting to see that Shopkick has focused on partnering with a range of retailers sitting firmly in the middle market. In addition to Old Navy, other retailers include American Eagle Outfitters, Best Buy, Crate and Barrel, mall operator Simon Property Group, Sports Authority, Target, Toys “R” Us, west elm and The Wet Seal.