Daily Dose of iQ: With In-App Purchasing, Shopkick forms 'Anti-Amazon Coalition'

Jul 25, 2013 — Cang Sam

The popular customer loyalty app Shopkick already has Target, Macy's, Best Buy and Old Navy as its clients. To date, Shopkick essentially worked like Foursquare, but one that actually rewarded users for checking into stores.

Now, as TechCrunch's Ingrid Lunden reported (July 23), Shopkick has moved beyond loyalty and into m-commerce: it actually allows for in-app purchasing. It's a move that co-founder and CEO Cyriac Roeding says expands Shopkick's revenue streams and helps stores better compete against Amazon.

Big-box stores like Best Buy could definitely benefit from Shopkick's new in-app purchasing.

“We’re not including Amazon in our app,” he told TechCrunch. “Using our app to buy goods means you will be buying goods from the actual stores, not Amazon. We are the anti-Amazon coalition.”

For retailers: The retail environment is very competitive and any tools that make it easier/faster/more fun for customers to get to your store are a good thing. And if this "coalition" helps drive traffic and sales, I don’t see why retailers wouldn’t be getting excited about it. Furthermore, if you slice the retail industry by vertical, they have distinctly varied success rates. Big-box stores like Best Buy are struggling: That segment of retailers could definitely benefit from Shopkick.

If Shopkick can make a customer's life easier, then more people will use it.

For consumers: Personally, I love the cheap prices at Amazon, but the wait can be problematic. For most everyday items I’m still going to the physical stores. In terms of Shopkick, if I can easily find an item I need quickly and see the nearby stores that have it I would definitely give it a try. Whether it sticks around on my phone will depend on its ease of use and if it helps me find the items I need without getting in the way.

Everyone wants an app that will take their shopping list and plots the best route is to get all their items at the best price, right?

Having one app to go to is easier than opening separate apps for each store.

Take-home message: If an app is going to make a customer’s life easier/faster/more fun, then it should be considered. In general, customers like simplicity so having one app to go to is easier than going to each store’s app separately. This gives the competitive edge to apps that are not retailer specific.

That said if a big enough retailer encompasses enough products this can still make sense. Amazon is a good example. Ultimately, for retailers partnering with companies like Shopkick is easy. If it helps the bottom line they can continue to use it, and if it doesn’t they can always pull the plug.

Topics: Retail Operations, Wireless Trends, Mobile Industry, Macy's, Customer Experience

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