Millions of consumers use location-based mobile apps to check-in to locations every day. But CheckPoints, a new mobile shopping application, is looking to take check-in services to the next level by asking you to check into products within stores. Each check-in rewards the user with points that can be redeemed for prizes like gift cards, miles or gadgets. The iPhone app is expected to be approved today or tomorrow by Apple.
Checkpoints has created a location-based shopping application that not only lets you check-in to a physical venue, but also products as you walk around the store. So what’s in it for users? The company says that for every check-in the user gains points. These points can be redeemed for actual products within the company’s Reward Store, including things like $1 gift cards for CVS or Home Depot (300 points) or an iPad (a lot more points).
Users are able to check-in to products by using the phone’s camera from within the application. The camera reads the barcode and acknowledges the product and the amount of points to be added to the users account. For example, if you were in your local grocery store, once you check into the location, you can then walk around and check-in on a carton of milk, a can of Pringles and a block of cheese — each accruing points.
The company is also working on business partnerships with brands to offer additional points and a way for the brand to engage with the consumer, which can be in the form of messaging, recipes, instant coupons or other special deals. Current partners include Belkin, Energizer, Seventh Generation and Tyson Foods.
Checkpoints isn’t the first to think that checking into products is a good idea and attractive to brands. Popular location-based gaming application MyTown, a product by Booyah, has allowed users to do this for some time now. MyTown even lets brands provide specials and rewards to users, similar to CheckPoints. The big differentiator is that CheckPoints allows the users to redeem the points for real prizes, not virtual ones like MyTown.
While checking into products sounds like a good idea, I’m hesitant to believe that users are going to want to walk around a store and scan barcodes while trying to shop, especially when you need a lot of points to get anything worth the effort.
The Venice, Calif. based company, founded in 2010, recently secured a first round of funding for $1 million from co-founders Mark and Todd DiPaola, founders of large search engine marketing firm Vantage Media.