Posted on 03 August 2010
LBS check-ins are slowly evolving outside the game mechanic concept that got the ball rolling, and the idea of retail check-ins is a brand new concept that's quickly gaining steam. The problem remains, however, in fake check-ins — especially when retailers begin rewarding users for being at specific retails locations.
Enter Shopkick, a brand new startup with the aim of ending the fake check-in. The startup has created a mobile app that runs in the background and automatically checks users in when they enter specific retail locations, but does so in a brand new way. The app is able to tell when you enter a store and where you're at within that store — all without using GPS.
Shopkick has created what's called "Shopkick Signal," which is installed in retail stores to monitor the location of users. It only works inside the store and not through walls, so a user isn't "checked-in" until they're physically inside the store. This all but eliminates fake check-ins. With it, when a consumer walks in the door, they automatically receive deals for that store. To redeem them, they can simply tell the cashier their phone number and the deal is automatically applied.
Shopkick announced a partnership with Best Buy around the country to kick off the concept. There's also something new shopkick has created called "kickbucks," which can be redeemed for Facebook credits, songs from Napster, or immediate cash-back rewards at partner stores. You can also use these kickbucks to donate to charity. It's an interesting concept, and even if not perfected to the point of mainstream success, the "signal" idea Shopkick has created will undoubtedly live on. We'll be watching this one closely.