Thursday, August 12, 2010

Mobil Meets Retail - shopkick joins with Simon

shopkick, the Silicon Valley-based "mobile meets retail" start up, and Simon Brand Ventures  the business-to-consumer arm of Simon Property Group, Inc. today announced a strategic alliance to deliver the shopkick location-based shopping application to more than 100 Simon mall locations across the country in time for the holiday shopping season.

A whole new world will be delivered to the shopper once the free shopkick mobile application is downloaded to the consumers' smart phone. As the shopper walks through the door of a participating retailer that has installed the "shopkick Signal" technology, they will learn of great deals at the store that can stretch their dollar. In addition, just by entering the store, the customer earns a new shopkick currency called "kickbucks" that can be redeemed for rewards or donated to charity.

shopkick will launch within the next few weeks, and start rolling out in the first Simon malls. Simon will promote the shopkick app to consumers at its malls, and deploy shopkick's location technology in key areas of its participating locations. Simon will also help to facilitate the installation of shopkick's technology inside the stores of interested retailers in its malls, to help drive foot traffic and new customers to them.

Simon is the nation's largest shopping mall operator and is working with shopkick to further enhance customers' shopping experiences with rewards and offers – delivered simply for walking into a Simon mall.

"There is simply no more effective partner in the U.S. to reach shoppers at scale than Simon Property Group. Simon and shopkick together will turn the malls into interactive, rewards-filled worlds that enhance shoppers' in-mall experience," said Cyriac Roeding, CEO and co-founder of shopkick. "At the same time, we'll drive foot traffic to the mall's retailers. It's a win-win-win situation, and the future of retail."

shopkick is the first location-based mobile application that promises consumers rewards and offers not just for shopping, but simply for walking into a retail location. Traditional GPS location-based services require shoppers "check in" and are only accurate within one or two blocks or don't work within shopping centers, so aren't viable for mall partners, where hundreds of retailers share a physical space. The patent-pending, low cost "shopkick Signal" technology requires no consumer check in and can guarantee that a user is truly present in the retail location, and is easy to install.

"After a year of due diligence researching location-based apps, we found shopkick offers by far the best way for retailers and brands to communicate directly with shoppers – on the phone, the only interactive device they bring with them to the mall," said Mikael Thygesen, president of SBV, and chief marketing officer of SPG. "Shoppers get a great experience – with high-value rewards, great offers, gaming elements, and more; and retailers get increased traffic and new customers. We're excited to be among the first to deliver this unique benefit. We invite our valued retailer tenants to join the roll-out of this cost-effective solution in their own stores, to drive additional traffic and enhance the overall shopping experience for customers."

How it works

Consumers choose to download the free "shopkick" mobile application for their smart phones. (The "shopkick" app for iPhone will be available in the coming weeks on the iTunes App Store, followed by apps for additional smart phones.) When the "shopkick" app is open on the smart phone, it detects the "shopkick Signal" technology installed in the retail location as the consumer walks through the door, and the shopper instantly receives rewards from shopkick, called "kickbucks." Because the detection occurs on the consumer's phone, the privacy of presence information is completely under the user's control.

Shopkick "kickbucks" can be immediately redeemed for Facebook credits, song downloads, immediate in-store cash-back rewards at shopkick partner stores, magazine subscriptions, even donations to charities. Retailers like Best Buy, Macy's and others that support the "shopkick" app also will deliver to consumers special in-store deals, and/or added bonuses for scanning barcodes of specific products. Similar to the "cost per click" traffic-based online business model, retailers will pay shopkick only for those consumers who actually walk into their stores with the "shopkick" app, recognizing the in-store "shopkick Signal" system.


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