Geolocation and the future of commerce

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Frida Sandin

Geolocation and the future of commerce

By Frida Sandin, March 16, 2011

Successful retailing is based upon understanding your customer. Whether online or offline their fundamental thoughts and behavior remains the same, and when you get your customers to interact with your products and brand, they’re more likely to remain loyal. Segmentation and relevant marketing is not only recommending the best product on your website, but making sure that you use the campaigns and the information you have to market your product and your brand the best possible way in all channels.

This is something that the people behind the booming start-up company Shopkick have based their geolocation application on. Their ambition is simple: Use mobile commerce to generate foot traffic to retail stores.

The Shopkick application encourages browsing and window shopping and by using geolocation technology the application provides a message to the potential buyer when it walks down a aisle or a daily deal. And if you are a frequent user of the application you’ll also get to enjoy the possibility of exchanging your Shopkick check-in points (kickbucks) for a gift card at a participating retailer or even Facebook credits.

A frequently discussed topic amongst online retailers is how the consumer’s value perception of online commodities stands versus the traditional offline channels. Price perceptions and quality can strongly effect the purchasing decision online and by connecting the two worlds Shopkick tries to overcome the potential purchase bar. (The New York times describes Shopkick as “the most persistent sales clerk you’ve ever encountered.”) But where do consumers draw the line between intrusion of privacy and a great shopping deal?

Shopkick is a great step for encouraging consumers to engage in mobile shopping and with the constant uplift in smart phone sales it won’t be long before we’ll get to take part of further offline-online shopping applications.

The latest Shopkick numbers include 750,000 users (10 % of those are daily users) and 100 million check-ins.

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