Mobile

Shopkick: Our users are checking into deals

Shopkick, a check-in application which lets retailers market offers to consumers, is showing some impressive growth numbers, according to Business Insider. Since its launch in August 2010, the company has attracted 750,000 users and is doing 1 million check ins a day in just 6 months.

Shopkick has been described as the “Foursquare for shoppers.” The comparison to the most popular general-purpose check-in service, used by friends to announce their locations to each other, isn’t a surprise. Where Foursquare allows businesses to offer “specials” to its users, Shopkick users who download the iPhone or Android app can check in to millions of stores or restaurants and get “Kickbucks,” which are redeemable for gift cards at a number of retailers.

One differentiator: Shopkick doesn’t require users to actively check in to a location. Instead, they can passively “walk in” to a store when carrying their smartphone and collect a reward. Participating retailers include major brands like American Eagle, Macy’s, Best Buy and Target, but Shopkick’s rollout is limited to storefronts in 18 markets at present.

Even more interesting is the degree to which Shopkick users stay active. A recent Pew Internet study found that only 4 percent of online consumers use a check-in service — and that number had actually dropped in recent months. Shopkick doesn’t seem to be experiencing that same dropout problem: 10 percent of users are active daily, 20 percent are active weekly, and 40 percent are active at least once a month. Major location-based services like Foursquare and Gowalla have released signups and total check-ins, but not similar activity figures, raising questions about how active their millions of users really are.

Shopkick isn’t the only service trying automatic check-ins. Mayor Maker, an iPhone app from Location Labs, lets users automatically check in on Foursquare. Placecast, a location-based ad company, launched ShopAlerts, which lets users sign up at retailers to receive mobile alerts for deals when in the vicinity of a store.

Shopkick, based in Palo Alto, Calif. and founded in 2010, has raised a total of $20 million from Kleiner Perkins, Greylock, Hoffman, Citi Growth Ventures & Innovation Group, and Ron Conway’s SV Angel.


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