As the holiday shopping season approaches, startups and retailers are gearing up for a very mobile holiday. Location-based shopping app Shopkick, which is backed by Kleiner Perkins, Greylock, and SV Angel, is the latest company to update its offerings in-time for the season. The startup has released a new version of its mobile app which adds digital catalogs, the ability to save product lists and more.
For background, Shopkick’s free mobile app for iPhone or Android rewards consumers for walking into the store, as opposed to a more manual “check in” as with Foursquare. Instead, the app uses proprietary technology which involves in-store hardware that emits an inaudible signal that gets picked up by the shopper’s mobile phone.
Shoppers are also rewarded for other actions, like scanning barcodes or trying on clothes, for example. Shopkick’s retail partners include big names like Target, Best Buy, Macy’s, Crate & Barrel, Old Navy, American Eagle, Sports Authority, Toys “R” Us, Simon Malls and others, as well as 40 brands (P&G, Unilever, Kraft, Colgate, Clorox, Disney, HP, Intel).
Shopkick 3.0 introduces content-rich ‘lookbooks,’ which include must-have items by store or brand. These lookbooks are introduced by “welcome cards” for each store or brand, which gives users a quick view into what products are new at a particular store.
Shopkick is also introducing the ability to tag and like certain products in the app, and save these to a list. But what makes this feature compelling is that when you walk into a partner store, an on-screen reminder will display when those saved products are available in the store.
The app now includes a new mapping feature where stores are clustered by district/shopping area to make it easier to decide at a glance where to head. This aims to inform users of high-value shopping areas, which can save time for shopper during high traffic times, such as during the holiday shopping season.
Shopkick’s users have logged more than 10 million physical store walk-ins and 20 million in-store interactions with its 50+ brand partners’ products. The company also says its app is the 4th most widely used shopping app after eBay, Amazon and Groupon. And Shopkick just announced a partnership with MasterCard and a national integration with Target.
The reason for the update was primarily to help hone in on shopper behavior. Shopkickers log on nine days per month, and on six of those days they are not at the store, they are at home on the couch or at work, browsing new offers and planning their next shopping trip. The discovery and planning features are better for the leanback experience, says the company.