My First ShopKick Experience: Why Shopkick can be frustrating but does work anyways!
Have you ever used shopkick? My first time was 2 days ago. I wanted to see with my own eyes if shopkick is the next big app and what all the hype is about. So I installed it on my Android phone. On the first screen it conveniently shows you which stores are near to you and how far away they are. Also, the screen shows you how many kicks you can earn at each store. The Best Buy, at 3.2 miles away, offered 300 potential kicks. That sounded like a lot, so I drove there.
When I arrived the shopkick app was telling me, that I would get 200 kicks for a “walk-in.” While I was entering the store and wondering how the app would figure out that I am walking into the store, a green button popped up welcoming me to the store and informing me that I had just received 200 kicks. My first 200 kicks! Now shopkick showed me that there were 4 items in the store worth 25 kicks each if I scan the items’ bar codes. So I started searching for the 4 items. And here comes the first frustration with shopkick: I couldn’t find 3 of the products. Even the shop employees couldn’t help me in finding it. The app tries to advertise certain products to you, but this store didn’t have them in stock. However, that’s less the apps fault and more Best Buy’s fault. The store should have the advertised products in stock.
Since I wanted to at least try to get some more kicks, I tried to scan the one product I was able to find. And here is the second frustration with shopkick: the app wouldn’t recognize the bar code. It was able to read it, but it showed me an error message. Here is the according screenshot and the proof that I tried to scan the correct product. a picture of the product in the store.
So I left Best Buy with my initial 200 kicks from the walk-in. But I couldn’t get enough. I wanted more kicks! Fortunately, shopkick informed me, that only 135 feet away there is a Target store which offer kicks. So I went over to the parking lot and into the store. This time there were no kicks for walking in. However, Target offered 7 products to scan each worth 10 or 25 kicks. Target actually had all the products in stock. Unfortunately, after scanning one product, the green button popped up informing me about my 25 kicks I just got, but those kicks were not charged to my kick account; and this is the third frustration with shopkick. While the first two problems are not necessarily shopkick’s mistakes, this one is for sure.
And now the one reason why despite all problems shopkick actually DOES work. The last product I was scanning was Orbit chewing gum. Normally, when I buy chewing gum, I buy a competitive brand. However, in order to scan the product, you have to pick it up from the shelf. And that is the most important reason why shopkick is better than any other advertisement for the company: I was holding the product in my hand and instead of putting it back and taking the product I normally buy, I just put the Orbit from my hand on the cashier band and bought it.
My first shopkick experience had some negative sides. However, these are outweighed by the excitement you get when you collect kicks. For companies, shopkick is a priceless marketing tool: it brings customers into the store, that normally might not visit the store, by giving them walk-in kicks. It enables companies, to point the customer’s attention to specific products although the customer gets more and more immune to classic advertisement. Moreover, it makes the customer take a product in the hand that she/he would normally not even look at. Shopkick gives customers rewards practically for “free” and gives companies a totally new and unconventional marketing instrument.
Although I had some problems in the beginning, my first experience showed me how powerful shopkick is for companies, and more important, how much fun it is to get the next kick.