Just like its name implies, Shopkick is an app geared toward improving the retail experience. Brands like Target, Best Buy, and Macy's have already partnered with Shopkick, which now has more than 3 million active users who helped drive a reported $110 million in in-store revenues for the app's partners in 2011.
What's interesting about Shopkick is that it leverages the smartphone to act as a digital overlay inside the store. The app rewards users with points (known as "kicks") for entering partner stores, browsing selected items, and making purchases. Users can also read product reviews from the community inside the store before they make a purchase. And because the app can be linked with a user's Visa card, marketers have more than just a geo-targeted couponing platform -- they have a window into consumer shopping patterns at the point of sale.
But putting insights aside, Shopkick has the long-term potential to revolutionize the way retail marketers approach another problem -- getting consumers into the store in the first place. Recently, Shopkick began experimenting with rewards offers designed to drive foot traffic on non-peak days. Dubbed "Black Friday 2," the experiment demonstrates the ability of Shopkick and its partners to transform a typical shopping day into a hype-worthy event. Of course, with the power to drive foot traffic at Black Friday levels any day of the year, Shopkick and its partners will have to drill down on targeting to make sure that they don't burn out consumers.