Shopkick, the app that rewards users with incentives — or "kicks" — for everyday shopping activities, has added a new feature that lets shoppers purchase items directly through the app and still earn rewards for doing so.
Shopkick users earn rewards for walking into a store, scanning product barcodes or QR Codes using a device's camera and by making purchases.
Kicks can be redeemed for store gift cards, a free coffee or dinner, song downloads, movie tickets, charity donations and more. Besides supporting traffic, stores can deliver special offers, like a discount on specific merchandise, through the app.
The addition of in-app purchasing follows Shopkick's rollout of curated "Lookbooks" last fall showcasing products from its retail partners. Users save and then can share favorite items in their product books across social media. Another feature just added provides app users the ability to "Like" favorite items and be automatically reminded of them upon walking into a store where they're sold.
In a statement, Shopkick said the in-app purchasing feature addresses the increasingly omni-channel shopper who shops when they "feel like it," whether in the store, at home on the couch, or on the train to work.
For retailers, Cyriac Roeding, CEO of Shopkick, told TechCrunch that the purchasing option will help stores defend themselves against showrooming and particularly Amazon.
"We're not including Amazon in our app," Mr. Roeding 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."
Said Joe Megibow, SVP & GM of omni-channel e-commerce at American Eagle Outfitters, "We are now able to meet the consumer desire for kicks not only in the American Eagle stores, but anywhere our customers may be via Shopkick and our mobile commerce."
According to a study released last week by Parago, 58 percent of smartphone owners now showroom, with just $5 in savings on a $50 purchase enough of an incentive for most to do so. Amazon was also found to be used two times more than Google for showrooming comparisons.
How would you rate the benefit of adding an in-app purchase option to Shopkick?