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Shopkick expands beacon in-store marketing with white label solution

With the presence of in-store beacons continuing to grow, shopping application shopkick is bringing its mobile engagement platform built around the technology to retailers as a white label solution for the first time via a new partnership with ShopperTrak.

Select retailers are beta-testing the solution designed to work with their own mobile applications to help them partake in the growing use of hyperlocal in-store engagements enabled via beacon technology.  The arrangement with Shoppertrak, which will be offering the shopkick white label solution to its retail customers, points to how shopkick continues to double down on its shopBeacons platform and hardware, which are deployed at more than 8,000 large stores, including Macy’s and American Eagle.

“We have been asked by retailers so often, can you also help us with our own app, you have so much with presence technology and in-store technology experience, but we couldn’t because we were so focused on our own app,” said Cyriac Roeding, CEO of shopkick.

“With Shoppertrak, we are opening up shopkick retail services as a unit and bringing presence technology to their retail customers in their own apps as well,” he said.

In-store shopper behavior
By integrating ShopperTrak interior analytics solution with shopkick’s in-store beacon technology, the companies hope to provide retailers with actionable and anonymized in-store analytics so they can better understand in-store shopper behavior.

Shopkick is a leading mobile shopping app that is used by more than 10 million consumers inside retail stores to earn rewards – called “kicks.”

The platform also offers a beacon network to enable retailers and marketers to engage shoppers inside the shopkick app when they are walking around a store.

Shopkick’s shopBeacons typically welcome shoppers entering a store via mobile alerts and share location-specific deals, discounts, recommendations, and rewards.

Now, retailers will be able to use a shopkick SDK to make the same features available to customers using their own branded apps. The solution is being beta-tested with retailers now and will be available to all retailers later this year.

ShopperTrak customers include Godiva and Crate & Barrel.

Location-based shopper services
The deal with ShopperTrak as well as shopkick’s acquisition by SK Planet last fall are examples of the growing value of location-based shoppers services, including those built around beacon technology, as well as mobile’s significant potential to influence offline sales.

Shopkick was acquired by SK planet – a division of South Korea’s largest mobile carrier – in September 2014 for approximately $200 million, in a significant sign of support for location-based mobile shopping (see story).

While beacon technology has quickly gained the interest of retailers for its ability to engage in-store shoppers at the hyperlocal level via their smartphones, marketers are struggling to figure what types of messages should be delivered via beacons as well as when, where and how often.

Shopkick and ShopperTrak hope to help retailers begin to answer questions such as where customers are going and how long they are staying via their new partnership.

By shifting in-store strategies and operations to better match shopper interest and behavior, ShopperTrak and shopkick hope to help retailers increase customer loyalty.

For example, last year American Eagle Outfitters, working with shopkick to install beacon technology in more than 100 locations, found that offering small, timely rewards for trying on clothes dramatically impacted behavior (see story).

“The biggest problem is to get the use cases right,” Mr. Roeding said.

“What it needs is something that is contextually relevant for the consumer, it needs to have value that is an enhancement,” he said.

“If you don’t do it right, it actually backfires.”

Final Take
Chantal Tode is senior editor on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York