The Silicon Review
“Our vision is to create rewarding shopping experiences anytime, anywhere.”
Technological innovation is driving higher customer expectations of brands and retailers. With ubiquitous mobile devices and the immediate nature of the internet, today’s consumer expects a better shopping experience inside and outside the store. This understanding leads brands and retailers to search for new ways to engage customers across all channels and throughout the entire customer journey. This is where Shopkick comes in.
For millions of users, Shopkick creates a fun and rewarding shopping experience that is fueled by “kicks” (its own currency) that reward shoppers for doing all the things they normally do. This includes browsing content and online offers, watching videos, walking into stores, engaging with products online and at shelf, and making purchases, both online and offline. With the recent launch of Mobile Shopping, Shopkick truly rewards its users for shopping anytime, anywhere.
To provide the best shopping experience to its users, Shopkick partners with leading brands and retailers including Clorox, Coty, GSK, Unilever, Georgia Pacific, Best Buy, Nestle, Purina, TJ Maxx and eBay, among others.
In conversation with the CEO of the company, Bill Demas
Tell us about your first product that was launched?
We officially launched Shopkick, the first mobile app benefiting shoppers, brands and retailers, in 2010. Shopkick makes shopping behaviors users already do every day fun. In fact, it’s been referred to as the Pokemon Go [of shopping] before there was Pokemon Go. We started by offering high-value “kicks” – our form of rewards currency – just for walking into partner stores. Users earn kicks that are redeemed for free gift cards and for items including handbags, headphones, even a Vespa.
How successful was your first project roll on?
Extremely successful! We’ve grown from a few users to millions. We’ve grown from a handful of partners to hundreds. We’ve rewarded our users over $62 million in free gift cards. We’ve proven our model works in driving incremental engagement and sales for our partners. We’ve added kick-earning opportunities including product scans, receipt submissions, video plays and mobile shopping. We are now the most engaging shopping rewards app – users spend about 2.5hours/month in the Shopkick app (according to App Annie). Best of all, we’re just getting started.
What were the grounds on which you have expanded your company and its offerings over the years?
In addition to the above, our ability to drive traffic, product engagement at the shelf and online, incremental sales, customer acquisition and loyalty is what’s helping us expand. We do all this without diluting precious margins or the brand through discounts, coupons or rebates. We’ve driven over 230 million store visits, over 335 million product scans and rewarded more than 16 billion kicks to our users. We recently launched Mobile Shopping letting consumers earn rewards for mobile browsing and buying.
What do you feel are the reasons behind?
Your product popularity – Using Shopkick is rewarding and FUN. We’re turning everyday shopping into moments of joy that deliver reward-earning opportunities.
Your consistent growth as an organization – We’ve proven to our brand and retail partners that Shopkick works. For partners like Clorox, General Mills, eBay, Quaker, TJ Maxx and others, we provide high consumer engagement along the entire path to purchase. Our unique pay for performance model has been proven to deliver high ROI, driving incremental foot traffic, visits to shelf and online offers, and sales.
Contributing towards the global platform
Apart from managing a sizable business, Shopkick is also adding value to the community, including the ability to convert rewards to charity and giving. Within its rewards mall, it lets users award their kicks to social causes like Feeding America and the American Red Cross. Earlier this summer, it launched a program called Kicking for a Cause where it encouraged users to download the app, join a team and compete to raise $50,000 for one of five charities- AdoptAClassroom.org, American Red Cross, Feeding America, National Breast Cancer Foundation or Room to Read.
The roadmap ahead
In the near term, the business is focused on delivering more rewarding experiences for users through mobile commerce, social gamification, and location intelligence. We are in the process of adding many more popular partners to our mobile commerce platform. We have some fun surprises up our sleeve and cool new features coming that will enhance social gamification. Location intelligence and data will help us to offer more personalized experiences for our users.
As always, we will be focused on providing new ways to earn kicks, making Shopkick easier and better to use, and bringing in more moments of joy for shoppers.
Roll out the red carpet for the CEO
Bill Demas joined Shopkick as Chief Executive Officer in 2016 with a demonstrated track record for driving business growth and building high-performance teams. Prior to Shopkick, he led overall strategy and guided day-to-day operations as CEO at Turn. There, he built the only global, natively integrated real-time digital advertising hub for audience planning, media execution and real-time analytics. Under his leadership, Turn increased its net revenue sixty-fold in six years. Bill has served in executive roles at Yahoo!, Overture and Microsoft.
Bill is a mentor, angel investor and advisor for multiple technology companies. He has been recognized by Goldman Sachs as one of the 100 Most Intriguing Entrepreneurs (2014) and by Ernst & Young as an Entrepreneur of the Year finalist (2012 and 2013). He holds an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School and degrees in computer science and organizational behavior and management from Brown University. He is a proud dad of two boys, an aspiring tennis player and a long-suffering KC Chiefs fan.