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shopkick: Where Award Opportunities Keep Appearing

By Fiona Woolf
August 7, 2013

shopkick is an app-based, coalition program with diverse opportunities for earning rewards. Some are advertised and some are unadvertised, appearing with continued participation. shopkick introduces us to a new approach for rewarding the right customer...

shopkick's model is centered on encouraging consumers to visit partner retailers and interact with products, leading to increased visits and in-store purchases. Using their smartphone, consumers earn points called kicks that can later be redeemed for an array of rewards at shopkick's Rewards Mall, accessed in-app.

shopkick is representative of a new generation of loyalty programs embodying "gamification", the growing trend of incorporating game elements into a non-game context in order to engage consumers and reinforce participation.

Earning shopkick's reward currency simulates a game-like experience, and active participation and in-app exploration continuously unearths special benefits and multifarious opportunities to earn kicks. As members continue to participate (or "level up" as its known in shopkick's lingo), more partner retailer offers and award opportunities become available. This framework is designed to incentivize and reward the "right" customers (ie, frequent users), motivating further participation and in-app exploration.

Advertised Opportunities
Members earn kicks from partner merchants through three primary ways:

To locate participating area merchants and their offers, open the app and tap "Find kicks nearby". Merchants are clustered into groups by proximity (eg, districts, shopping malls). Tap on a group to view its list of merchants; tap on a merchant to see if it currently offers kicks for a walk-in, scans or purchases.

Unadvertised Opportunities
Beyond these advertised opportunities for earning kicks, there are various "Bonuses" which are not initially noticeable or visible. Bonuses are offers to earn extra kicks and other awards. Bonuses can be:

Members can hunt for Bonuses scattered throughout the app, and Bonuses are also awarded to members as they continue to "level up" (ie, actively participate). Making sense of Bonuses-the different types, where to look for them, and what to do with them-is not abundantly clear. Here are three of the most common Bonuses:
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