Groupon, LivingSocial and the rest of the daily deal throng are readying for a big holiday season as price-sensitive consumers look for bargains.
Meanwhile Shopkick has teamed up with Visa to deliver rewards to customers who pay with their Visa cards in retail stores. Shopkick-aligned merchants provide Visa holders rewards points for visiting participating merchants and purchasing particular items. This is essentially a mirror of the deal that Amex is doing with Foursquare.
It’s different in three ways, however:
- The Shopkick program involves big boxes, while the Foursquare program is focused on SMBs
- Shopkick delivers rewards for specific purchases
- Foursquare and Amex will provide cash off or cash back, while Shopkick delivers loyalty points (inferior and less of a consumer motivator)
Consumers must opt-in to the Visa-Shopkick program. Here’s how it works:
- “Registered shoppers [who have linked their Visa accounts to ShopKick] will qualify for Buy & Collect offers such as ‘spend $40 and receive 250 kicks,’ while they are in the store”
- Shopkick app users will see a green payment card icon on their “nearby” screen to let them know there are additional offers at participating merchants
- After swiping their enrolled Visa card, Shopkick app users receive real-time notification from Shopkick that their kicks rewards are banked
The first merchants involved in the Visa program are American Eagle Outfitters, Arden B., Old Navy, Toys”R”Us, and Wet Seal. It’s interesting to note that this is the second credit-card loyalty app deal in a week. It provides one non-NFC model for how promotions will be integrated and tracked to the point of sale.
I continue to believe, however, that Shopkick itself is too Byzantine for users. Its “kick bucks” or “kicks” are today’s version of “Green Stamps.” I’m much less interested in proprietary points that keep me locked in to a particular system than I am real money off on my purchase.