Prospecting: Shopkick Helps Kick-Start Sales for American Eagle Outfitters

A consumer uses his smartphone to scan a barcode and collect his kickbucks via Shopkick's location-based shopping app.

American Eagle Outfitters (AEO), the Pittsburgh-based multichannel retailer of on-trend apparel and accessories, found a unique way to bring shoppers into its stores earlier this year.

First, it engaged Shopkick, a new location-based shopping app for iPhones, to help it reward shoppers just for visiting certain AEO stores. AEO then hosted an event at its flagship store in Times Square to launch the app and generate buzz.

Here’s how Shopkick works: consumers walk into a partner retail store with the Shopkick app open. The app detects a “Shopkick signal” coming from the Shopkick device located in the participating store. Because the detection occurs on the user’s iPhone, the privacy of presence information is completely under the user’s control. Once a Shopkick signal is detected, the app delivers reward points called “kickbucks” that can redeeemed for special offers.

“We believe Shopkick’s location-based retail app is a potential game changer in retail,” said Michael Dupuis, vice president of marketing and operations at AEO, in a Shopkick press release. “It’s designed to make the shopping experience more rewarding and fun for consumers, which in turn brings more shoppers to our stores.”

Besides AEO, Shopkick currently has partnerships with Best Buy, Macy’s, Simon Property Group and Sports Authority. Offers are live in all partner store locations in New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles and Chicago. In total, more than 600 individual stores and 100 of the country’s largest malls are participating in the program.

Besides walking into a store and collecting kickbucks, consumers can earn additional kickbucks for taking other actions in retail stores. In AEO stores, for example, consumers trying on clothes can scan the barcode located in the dressing room area to automatically receive kickbucks.

Other partner retailers allow consumers to earn kickbucks when they use their mobile devices to scan merchandise barcodes in an effort to learn more information about specific products. Best Buy has also integrated Shopkick into its point-of-sale system to easily process the redemption offers available to consumers.

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