Shopkick started putting all the pieces together with its location-based shopping app last year, helping retailers not only drive foot traffic and engagement, but also incorporating Visa (s v) integration to help lead consumers to the check-out register. The company said the results have really paid off for retailers and brand partners, which generated more than $110 million in revenue in 2011.
The company said it has now more than 3 million active users for the system, which is in use at 11 national retailers and more than 4,000 stores. The system, which launched in August 2010, began as a sort of location-based loyalty and reward system, with users installing a Shopkick app that can communicate their presence to Shopkick when they arrive at a store. Users earned kick rewards for visiting a store or interacting with a product, which could be applied toward deals. In November, Shopkick announced a partnership with Visa that allowed retailers to push out in-store offers incentivizing users to buy a certain amount to get additional kick rewards.
Shopkick said users interact with stores in the app 150 million times per month. Cyriac Roeding, CEO of Shopkick, said the system is a win for retailers and consumers because it keeps consumers inside a location and rewards them for their presence, engagement and business. And it’s showing it can generate real revenue for partners who invest in Shopkick’s system, said Roeding.
“Some mobile services drive people out of stores, not into stores, with online comparison shopping that turns stores into ‘showrooms.’ Shopkick does the opposite,” Roeding said. “Shopkick drives people into stores by rewarding them with things they love just for visiting.”
Shopkick is also becoming a tool for brands to reach consumers. Shopkick unveiled a program in May that allows users watching certain CW TV shows to unlock exclusive deals when they use their app during certain commercials.
It’s interesting to see how Shopkick has evolved into a robust loyalty system for retailers such as Target (s tgt), Macy’s (s m), Best Buy (s bby), American Eagle (s aeo) and others. Its system has always been a little more complicated because it requires each store to install signal boxes that can recognize a user in a store. But Shopkick’s maturation comes at a good time, as retailers are grappling with the challenge of smartphone-toting shoppers, who are scanning products in stores, often in search of better deals online or in other stores. The temptation will still be there for consumers to go hunting for the best deal thanks to shopping and price comparison apps. But by setting itself up as a trusted tool for consumers and merchants, it’s in a position to help keep consumers from fleeing to other stores or online channels. And that could make Shopkick a popular tool for more and more retailers.