retail news in context, analysis with attitude

The Chicago Tribune reports that the Shopkick online application is going local as it works to generate traffic for brick-and-mortar retailers.

According to the story, Shopkick “is wooing local retailers from coffee shops to bakeries to clothing boutiques in 10 cities, including Chicago, in a bid to expand its reach.

“The shopping app, introduced last August, rewards customers with points called ‘kicks’ for entering a store. It is akin to a paper loyalty punch card on a smart phone, but shoppers don't have to purchase anything to get points ... Retailers are eager to attract shoppers into their stores, especially as more consumers make their purchases online. Shopkick rewards increase the more involved a shopper becomes in a store. Typically, customers earn a few points for walking outside the door and more points for going into the dressing room.”

Among the national chains testing Shopkick are Target, Best Buy, Crate & Barrel, Macy's, Sports Authority and American Eagle.
KC's View:
The larger point is that in all venues, the battle between online and brick-and-mortar is only going to get more intense, and it strikes me as critical that retailers do two things.

One, they need to have an evolving online presence so that they are relevant to the next generation of shoppers.

And two, they have to do things to keep their physical stores vital and differentiated.