Can the Shopkick app help traditional groceries do battle with e-tailers?

Dive Brief:

  • Shopkick, the popular mobile app that offers shoppers rewards — or “kicks” — for walking into a store, scanning, and buying products, announced it will soon be partnering with grocery retailers, according to Retail Leader.
  • After a year of beta testing, Shopkick found that users spent $59 per visit versus $32 for the average American shopper. 
  • The app will include features exclusive to grocery partners such as recipe builders, interactive shopping lists and a special section listing store offers.

Dive Insight:

For those unfamiliar with Shopkick, here’s a quick primer: Utilizing the app and some basic in-store technology, shoppers earn rewards at participating retailers by completing tasks like walking into the store and buying a product. Those points accumulate and can be redeemed for gift cards.

Shopkick collects a fee for each kick shoppers earn. This can add up, but retailers are happy to fork over some money to gain new customers and increase foot traffic.

Launched in 2010, Shopkick has proved to be a major asset for the likes of Target, Best Buy and American Eagle. Within just two years of adopting the app, Target scaled up to include Shopkick in all of its stores nationwide. In all, there are currently more than 15 million Shopkick users.

For retailers looking for ways to compete with Amazon and other e-tailers, Shopkick offers consumers some compelling reasons to visit their stores. It makes the experience like a game and sweetens the deal with modest rewards. In its beta testing, Shopkick found that users visited stores 2.2 times per week versus the U.S. average of 1.5 times. Engagement also increased, with users engaging with 33% more products than average, according to Retail Leader. 

But can it do a better job enticing customers than e-tailers can? Shopkick’s explosive growth over the past few years seems to say it can. The true test is yet to come as Amazon, Jet, Boxed and other services scale up and innovate. One thing retailers should do is ask themselves how much of the in-store experience belongs to Shopkick, and how much belongs to the store. The app can certainly drive people to the grocery stores, but any gains won’t compare to the loss of brand identity.

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Filed Under: Grocery Marketing
Top image credit: Google Creative Commons License