Shopkick ‘Kicks’ Showrooming Effect in the Teeth; Drives $110 Million in Revenue to Retail Partners

Shopkick ‘Kicks’ Showrooming Effect in the Teeth; Drives $110 Million in Revenue to Retail Partners

Posted: 01 Feb 2012 10:52 AM PST

Shopkick partners can breathe a sigh of relief in the wake of all of the talk about losing in-store customers to “showrooming,’ as it’s been deemed.

The mobile shopping app drove more than $110 million worth of in-store revenue for its partner retailers in 2011, which was the first full year it was in operation. Currently, Shopkick works with 11 national retail brands in the US, including BestBuy, Target, Macy’s and Old Navy.

With consumers researching products in brick and mortar stores, then going online to make a purchase, showrooming has become a damning problem for retail brands. Shopkick sees itself as an antidote to that dilemma.

“Some mobile services drive people out of stores, not into stores, with online comparison shopping that turn stores into ‘showrooms.’” said Cyriac Roeding, CEO of Shopkick. “Shopkick drives people into stores by rewarding them with things they love just for visiting.”

Path to Purchase

Shopkick aims to be the single location-based shopping app for retailers, brands and shoppers alike. People don’t switch wallets or outfits going from the grocery store to the mall, so assuming they’ll want separate apps for the various ways and places they shop ignores consumer preferences. To best serve all its constituents, Shopkick rewards behavior throughout the path to purchase, including:

  • § Discovery: Shopkick users interact with stores in the app 150 million times per month, and that allows brand and retailers to reach them at home and on-the go. Media partnerships with InStyle and the CW amplify the discovery.
  • § Visits: Shopkick uses what it refers to as presence detection technology that rewards shoppers from the moment they walk into partner stores.
  • § Purchase: Thanks to a recent partnership with Visa, Shopkick rewards shoppers when they make a purchase at a participating partner retailer using their Visa debit or credit card as part of the Buy & Collect program.

Presence Detection Key to Shopkick Success

Shopkick’s patent-pending presence technology is what sets it apart from other apps, which rely on often inaccurate GPS. Thanks to a small box located within the store, which emits a signal that the app detects and decodes, it knows the shopper is actually in the store and, as a result, provides reward points, called “kicks” to the shopper.

Shopkick by the Numbers

Based on numbers reported to SCT, Shopkick has:

  • § 3 million active users;
  • § 1 billion in-app offers have been viewed;
  • § 5 million walk-ins to partner stores in December 2011;
  • § 10 million products have been scanned.

There is even more evidence that Shopkick works for retailers and brands. For example: 

  • § During the 2011 holiday shopping season, shopkick users interacted with stores through the app more than 3.1 million times per day on average, up from just over 1 million in August 2011;
  • § There were approximately 150 million interactions with retailers from the launch of Old Navy on November 10, 2011 through the end of the year.

As to who is using the app, 64 percent of all Shopkick users are younger women, most of whom are moms. Since women are responsible for 85 percent of all purchases, that certainly bodes well for retailers.

Shopkick Partner Metrics

Lastly, here are some metrics related to Shopkick partners:

  • § Eleven national retail partners:  American Eagle Outfitters, Best Buy, Crate and Barrel, Macy’s, Simon Property Group (the nation’s largest mall operator), The Sports Authority, Target, Toys“R”Us, west elm and The Wet Seal;
  • § In 2011, Best Buy, Simon Property Group, Crate & Barrel and west elm expanded their shopkick program include all locations nationwide;
  • § New partners in 2011: Old Navy (rolled out nationally at launch), Visa, InStyle, CoverGirl, Disney, Levi’s, Libman, Mead Johnson, Meguiar’s, Mr. Clean, Olay, Revlon, Tilex, Trident, and VTech;
  • § Over 35 major brand partners including Clorox, Disney, HP, Intel, Kraft Foods, Procter & Gamble, Unilever, Gerber, Hasbro, Nickelodeon and more;

Shopkick’s goal for 2012 is to do more of the same – continually increase the number of retail partners and app users, which should translate into more dollars being spent in the store and not on Amazon.



Four Steps to Success in the Digital World | Thinking | Prophet

Twitter Launches Brand Pages, Forrester’s First Take

Twitter Launches Brand Pages: What it Means for You

Posted by Melissa Parrish on December 9, 2011

Yesterday, Twitter announced the launch of its highly-anticipated brand pages.  The move is being lauded as the next logical step for the social network in attempting to bring its offerings in line with competitive services for companies– like the already-launched Google+ brand pages and the perennial favorite Facebook pages.  But how exactly will the changes help brands or change the way they interact?

First, the the pages offer marketers more branding opportunities.  A large banner on the top of the page will let you show off your logo or other creative without worry that it’ll get lost behind the Twitter stream like your custom background images may on your current pages.

Second, you’ll be able to make a tweet sticky, but pinning it to the top of your stream– with media like photos or videos– for as long as you choose.

These features sound– and are– good news to marketers who’ve wanted better tools to create a destination for their audiences on Twitter.  But remember, the majority of interaction with your followers on Twitter happens in the stream, not on your brand page.  So while these new tools will let you position your Twitter presence better to capture new followers, you still have to have a clear strategy for engaging your followers once you’ve got them…

Which brings me to the change that I think will make the biggest difference to marketers– and it’s not on the brand pages themselves.  The brand pages were launched as part of a general redesign, which includes a feature they’re calling “Discover”.   Think of it as a more robust– and smarter– version of clicking on a hashtag.   Twitter describes it like this, “When you use Discover, you’ll see results reflecting your interests—based on your current location, what you follow and what’s happening in the world. As you use Twitter more, Discover gets even better at serving up more content just for you.”

The content a user explores in Discover will include images and video in-line, creating an experience that almost looks more like Tumblr than the Twitter you’re used to.  All of this means that while the design of your brand pages will be more compelling, the content you create is where you can really have an impact.  If you’re looking to take the fullest advantage of this Twitter redesign, you should be thinking about how you can make your content as compelling and relevant as possible to your audience.

Shocking advice?  Certainly not.  It’s the same principle that successful Twitter marketers have been following for years. (More on that, and other Twitter principles, in an upcoming report.)  But now you can expect that your most creative elements will be seen in the stream– and your most relevant content will be Discovered by more users.  So the biggest change isn’t what you’re doing on Twitter, but rather how seriously you take your Twitter content strategy.

So what do you think, marketers?  Are you excited about the changes?

Study: Auto-Posting to Facebook Decreases Likes and Comments by 70%

September 6th, 2011

Facebook Pages that automatically publish content to the news feed through third-party apps such as HootSuite, TweetDeck, and NetworkedBlogs receive an average of 70% less Likes and comments on their posts per fan, according to a new study by Applum, developer of Page tool EdgeRank Checker. The study says the difference is likely due to Facebook reducing the prominence of posts published by third-party APIs, and Facebook collapsing updates from the same API from across a user’s friends and Liked Pages.

As Likes and comments increase a post’s prominence in the news feed, driving more impressions and clicks, all Pages using auto-posting apps should look to switch to manual posting if possible.

Many companies, public figures, organizations, and news outlets (including our own) use auto-posting apps to create Facebook Page updates by syndication their Twitter posts or converting their blog post headlines. This increases efficiency but relieving the admins of these accounts from having to copy and paste headlines and links from one platform to another.

The practice is subjectively considered  sub-optimal, though, as different platforms have different publishing capabilities and norms. Facebook for instance allows for rich media posts, so authors can select a thumbnail image and caption along with posting a link and headline. It’s typical for Twitter accounts to post up to a dozen times a day but that volume could be viewed as spam on Facebook. Therefore, auto-posts can appear robotic and less compelling.

EdgeRank Checker’s study is the latest of several reports we’ve covered that reveal obstacles to engagement on Facebook. A recent PageLever study showed the average Page gets only 7.49 daily unique news feed impressions on its posts and only 3.19 daily unique Page views per 100 fans.

EdgeRank Checker’s Data

Now, EdgeRank Checker has revealed empirical data that automatically published posts perform worse than manually published one. EdgeRank Checker analyzed over 1,000,000 Facebook updates by more than 50,000 Pages with a combined reach of over 1,000,000,000 fans including duplicates. It then calculated the engagement ratio of the total Likes and comments on a Page’s post divided by the total fans of the Page the at the time of the post for the ten most popular third-party publishing APIs.

The study determined that compared to the engagement of posts published manually to Facebook’s web or mobile interfaces, the reduction in engagement ratios of the top third-party publishing APIs are:

  • HootSuite – 69% reduction
  • TweetDeck – 73% reduction
  • Sendible – 75% reduction
  • Networked Blogs – 76% reduction
  • RSS Graffiti – 81% reduction
  • Twitter – 83% reduction
  • Publisher – 86% reduction
  • twitterfeed – 90% reduction
  • – 91% reduction
  • Social RSS – 94% reductions

These averaged out such that posts published through a third-party auto-posting app saw roughly 70% fewer Likes and comments than those published through Facebook’s first-party interfaces. This is in part due to Facebook’s direct punishment of the EdgeRank of posts by third-party APIs. Also, if a user’s news feed contain multiple posts from a single API, whether from a single author or several different Pages and friends, the posts are collapsed and must be unfolded to be seen.

Google+ users will soon begin to see Google+ posts in their Google Search results.

The Huffington Post     First Posted: 8/13/11 06:05 PM ET Updated: 8/13/11 06:05 PM ET

This feature is activated only when you’re signed in to your Google Account, according Product Manager Sagar Kamdar, who posted the announcement on the Google Search Blog.

When you’re searching Google for, say, a restaurant, you might see that some results include content shared publicly by members of your Google+ Circles.

Kamdar detailed the new tool thus:

Let’s say I’m logged into my Google Account, and I search on Google for [uncle zhou queens]. I’ve heard a lot of great things about this restaurant, and we’re visiting NYC soon, so we want to figure out all the best eats in town. I also happen to have Andrew Hyatt in one of my Google+ circles. Oh, and it turns out he just made a public post on his Google+ account about Uncle Zhou in Queens […] Now not only do I get some great reviews on the web, I get a review from a friend about a restaurant with recommendations about what dishes to order.

Check out an example of what Google+ content looks like when attached to a Google Search result:

This new feature will roll out to Google+ users “over the coming days,” wrote Kamdar, noting also that private Google+ posts will not appear in Google Search.

Google plans to further integrate its social network into search results by reintroducing Realtime Search, a recently axed feature that drew heavily from posts on Twitter. “Our vision is to have include Google+ information along with other realtime data from a variety of sources,” a Google rep said in July, shortly after the search tool disappeared.

Back in February, Google updated its Social Search feature to enrich Search results with content from Google Account users’ friends on Blogger, YouTube, Quora, Flickr, Google Reader, Twitter and others social sites. This was prior to the launch of Google+, and some wondered at the time about the usefulness of placing content from social networks into search results.

The recent addition of Google+ content won’t fundamentally change Social Search. As explained by Search Engine Land:

Google Social Search continues to operate as before. Things shared socially at places like Twitter and Facebook by those you’re connected with may appear with annotations and rank better in results. […] The main difference is, as Google’s post says, is that things you share on Google+ itself are now part of the mix.

Google+ has grown at an astonishing rate since its launch in late June. An August study released by comScore found Google+ to be the fastest-growing social network ever. Indeed, at the time of the study, Google+ had amassed 25 million members.

And Google isn’t resting on its laurels when it comes to growing the site. Thursday saw the launch of Google+ Games, a social gaming network that includes titles like ‘Angry Birds’ and ‘Bejeweled.’ Among the list of developers jumping on board with Google+Games was Zynga, Facebook’s gaming cash cow.

How I’m Using Google+ (Hint: It’s About Relevance)

As i continue to kick the tires and try to juggle, distinguish and appropriate categorize Google+, I found Melissa Parrish’s blog post insightful. Pricepoints comments follow hers.

Forrester Blogs » Marketing & Strategy » Interactive Marketing Professionals » Melissa Parrish
How I’m Using Google+ (Hint: It’s About Relevance)

Posted by Melissa Parrish on August 8, 2011

If you were to glance at my Google+ profile, you’d probably think I’m practically inactive. But what you’re seeing is the public view of a very targeted set of actions, based on relevance.

I like to have different kinds of conversations with different people, so when I share content it’s with circles that designate not only relationship but topics too, and Google+ makes it really easy for me to be highly relevant in this way. Take, for example, politics. I like to talk about it, but I’m rarely interested in fighting, so when I share a politically focused news article, it’s not enough to be in my Friends circle. To see it, you have to be in my Friends-Politics circle, where I’ve included people who I know I’ll have an interesting conversation with that won’t result in insults and multiple exclamation points.

There is one thing missing if relevance is an aim of the platform. As of today, my relevance-based circles only apply to what I share with others. What would be especially helpful would be a way to limit the content I see from others in that circle to the topic I’ve assigned it. For example, I’m following Christian Oestlien, one of the Google+ product managers, specifically for updates about Google+. So while the YouTube music videos and Onion articles he posts are probably funny, I can’t say I’m particularly interested in seeing them from him. Now, if one of the people in my Friends-Hilarious circle posted them, that’s another story . . ..

So what are the implications for brands?

Once business pages become available, brands may get the most from Google+ by prioritizing relevance over scale, regardless of how quickly the user base grows. If your audience uses the service like I do, it’s going to be in your best interest to get your brand in our Brands-Deals I’ll Use or our Brands-Great Links or our Brands-Things I Want For My Birthday circles. You’re not going want to end up in Brands-General.

Since business pages haven’t been revealed yet, I can only offer ideas on how brands might be able to accomplish this, but 2 possibilities come to mind:

1) Brands can launch their Google+ presences with a single, focused content theme first (deals, links, new products, etc.). This would mean that users who add you to their circles are interested in that specific content. Then your interaction with customers will be around that particular content theme so engagement expectations will be set on both sides.

2) Consumers could tell the brand what type of content they want, and the brand would create circles and share content accordingly. If business pages work mostly like consumer pages do today, then this would be a manual process involving something like comments from users, spreadsheets, and manual circle creation — probably not something a lot of brands will have the time and energy to do. But this could be a really compelling strategy if Google were to build an easy way for marketers to collect content-theme “opt-ins” and auto-populate circles based on that info. That would allow marketers to diversify the content they’re sharing to maximize the size of their Google+ audience, while still respecting relevance needs.

What business pages will do remains to be seen, and it’ll be some time before true user trends emerge that will show whether I’m alone on the relevance thing or not. In the meantime, what do you think? Is Google+ all about relevance for you? How are you using the platform?

First, I believe the significance initiative will command the appropriate “marketing” resources and commitment to establish it’s value. My experience and take on Google, like many, extremely bright and clever….but like some of my friend’s children’s get bored and move to quickly to another cool thing.

It can be boring to understand the user experience nuance that really makes the service or feature “can’t live without it popular”. Most recently Unless you’ve been asleep the battle over internet (overly dramatic I admit), due to the ability of Facebook to limit data access has finally gotten Google’s attention. It will impact their revenue source, search, and therefore will maintain their attention.