Shopkick adds in-app purchasing to help retailers combat Amazon's growth


Shopkick is expanding its location-based consumer rewards application, enabling shoppers to make purchases directly within the app.

The free Shopkick app, which is available for devices running Apple's (NASDAQ:AAPL) iOS and Google's (NASDAQ:GOOG) Android, rewards users with points called "kicks" for entering retail stores, scanning consumer goods and making purchases. To collect kicks, shoppers must physically step inside brick-and-mortar locations--Shopkick leverages patent-pending location technology that automatically identifies the user's presence in partner stores, crediting rewards and delivering relevant offers directly to their account. Consumers can redeem kicks to claim prizes like gift cards, movie tickets, Facebook Credits and iTunes downloads. Shoppers also can sign up to receive special in-store coupons and discounts.

Shopkick users can now purchase items from more than 30 partners, including Target, Macy's, Best Buy, Old Navy, Anthropologie, Banana Republic, Gymboree, Bath & Body Works and Urban Outfitters. Shopkick CEO Cyriac Roeding told TechCrunch that the new feature will not only enhance the company's revenue stream but also help retailer partners compete against digital commerce threats posed by Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN).

"We're not including Amazon in our app," Roeding said. "Using our app to buy goods means you will be buying goods from the actual stores, not Amazon. We are the anti-Amazon coalition." Roeding did not specify how much a cut Shopkick claims on each in-app purchase.

The revamped Shopkick also will allow consumers to "like" favorite items and receive automatic reminders upon entering stores where the product is sold. Users may also browse themed product books to discover new merchandise, save favorites to customized books and share books with other shoppers.

Shopkick is in use across more than 7,500 retail stores and malls nationwide. The company achieved profitability in the fourth quarter of 2012, a little more than two years after the service first rolled out. In January Shopkick announced it has driven more than $300 million in revenue for its retail and brand partners, including more than $200 million in 2012 alone.

Forty-seven percent of all U.S. smartphone owners use mobile shopping applications, according to a Nielsen report issued last year. Shopkick ranked fourth in terms of unique audience size, trailing only eBay Mobile, Amazon Mobile and Groupon.

For more:
- read this release
- read this TechCrunch article

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