Shopkick Partners With InStyle Magazine, Toys R Us

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Shopkick, the location-based mobile app that rewards users for walking into stores, is announcing a few new partnerships today, its first birthday: It’s teaming up with InStyle to provide content and is launching a pilot program with Toys R Us, which will be the tenth store in its network.

Under its content partnership with InStyle, Shopkick will provide some of the magazine’s content to 2 million app users, including a “Shop By Color” virtual pop-up store.

Toys R Us will start using Shopkick at 100 of its Toys R Us and Babies R Us stories in Chicago, Los Angeles, New York, and San Francisco this fall. And Sports Authority, which was using Shopkick technology at 104 of its stores, is expanding it to all 470 stores. Jeff Schumacher, Sports Authority’s chief marketing officer, said that through its partnership with Shopkick the company has seen “a return on investment in the top quartile of all our marketing programs. We’ve also started to test Shopkick promotions with key brand vendors, and the early results are positive.”

Shopkick now has a total of ten retail partners. Besides Sports Authority and Toys R Us, they are American Eagle Outfitters, Best Buy, Crate and Barrel, Macy’s, Simon Property Group, Target, Wet Seal and west elm. Shopkick relies on physical technology installed in its partner stores–which it describes as ” the shopkick Signal, an inaudible sound emitted from a patent-pending device located in each participating retailer”–to verify that users are actually physically in the stores. Two million people are using the Shopkick app. They receive “kicks,” which can be redeemed for discounts, gift cards and other rewards.

At the Deals 3D Conference last month, the company’s VP of product management, Evan Tana, said the company is looking to expand to other verticals beyond retail chain stores, but the challenges for local stores are different–a coffee shop doesn’t necessarily care about foot traffic, and doesn’t want to incentivize someone walking out.” Shopkick Local launched last month, however, and recently partnered with Citibank to fund a trial giving away 1,000 Shopkick signal transmittors to local merchants in ten markets.

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Wells Baum

Is Shopkick likely to expand to the tablet as well?  If so, they’ve got a Google on their hands:

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