Race Prep: Get Ready for Black Friday in 5 Steps

For years, Thanksgiving has nabbed my number one spot for Favorite Holiday. From baking pies with my best friend the night before to gathering together with my family for dinner on Thanksgiving, I love everything about it! With that said, there’s always one moment I enjoy most: Black Friday prep during Thanksgiving morning. This is like my Super Bowl.

Just like a runner training for a race, Black Friday is all about the prep! In order for you to not only survive but thrive during the biggest shopping weekend of the year, I thought I would share my five best tips with you. Consider this a peek inside my own personal Black Friday Shopkick game plan!

1. Gather:

Before you set out on your Black Friday race, put together a list of all of your gift ideas for your friends and family. Throughout the year, I tend to keep a running list of ideas in my phone. Just before Black Friday, I’ll explore my ideas, pull out the ones I think will work best, and create a holiday gift guide in my phone to refer back to as I jump from store-to-store. I find this list is a great way to feel organized and focused rather than waiting for inspiration to strike.

2. Plan:

Every year on Thanksgiving morning, I turn on the annual parades and peruse all of the Black Friday ads. I cannot be the only one who gets a serious adrenaline rush when I spot items on my list that are going to be on sale! Once I’ve viewed all of the ads and pulled my favorites, I create a route. This piece is key. Knowing which stores I will visit (and which ones will be offering big kicks when I use Shopkick!) helps me plan my route ahead of time rather than making rash decisions while I’m driving in the dark. I tend to visit my furthest point first and then shop my way closer to home. Pro Tip: Review how to earn kicks on Shopkick if you’re feeling a little rusty, visit the Explore page for tons of inspiration, and make sure you’re signed up for emails from Shopkick to be among the first to know when new deals drop!

3. Fuel:

Your list is prepped and ready, but are you? If you’re planning to be the first to nab a great deal, this is the time to bring out the camping year. Find your beach chair, grab a sleeping bag, and don’t forget a lantern, charger, and snacks! If you’re going to be waiting outside for your number one store to open, make sure you have all of the fuel you will need. This is the time to let your inner Boy or Girl Scout shine. Those scouting badges are about to be worth their weight in gold.

4. Pace:

Just like a race, Black Friday is a marathon not a sprint. My family and I tend to enjoy an earlier dinner together, which means I can visit my first store (or stores!) on Thanksgiving night (I can’t say I’ve ever camped before a store opening, but I definitely do know how to prep for one – see above!). I love crossing a few gifts off of my list just before Black Friday’s official start because it means I can stop for breakfast in the morning before the rest of my shopping commences. Also, I never panic if I can’t find an item or a size is sold out. Cyber Monday is (literally!) on the horizon, and I know I won’t miss out on the deal.  

5. Medal:

Once your car is filled with merriment and you have earned hundreds of kicks while using Shopkick in stores (and online!), it’s safe to say you will have earned your Black Friday medal. Seriously, you’re about to be on your way to having Expert Shopper Status, and that deserves a reward. Cash in your kicks for a gift card to your favorite store, and make sure to treat yourself. You did it!

Let’s crush Black Friday, Shopkickers! It’s time to get on the race course.

[Infographic]: Seasonal Shopping Trends 2017

They say the best predictor of future behavior is past behavior, which is why we have taken a look back at key behaviors our users exhibited during seasonal peaks throughout 2017.

In our latest infographic, we review what Shopkickers were most engaged with during important retail moments throughout the year. As 2018 trends already start to take shape, we look forward to seeing how these holiday trends will continue to grow and shift over time.


Shopkick Infographic 2017 trends

To learn more about how Shopkick can help you boost engagement during seasonal peaks, get in touch at partners@shopkick.com.

Reward yourself this Blue Weekend

Calling all Shopkickers! Earn big kicks this weekend, 12/15/17 – 12/17/17.

Put some cheer in your last-minute store visits this weekend by collecting up to 10,000 kicks available in stores during our Blue Weekend event!  We’re making your last-minute store trips more rewarding with up to 200 kicks when you walk into Marshalls, T.J.Maxx and more. Plus, earn double the kicks on your purchases made with a linked card at participating stores.

Happy shopkicking!

Check out the Blue Weekend kick plan!

Take a look at the plan below, or see it here.

Don’t have the app? Download it here to join the fun!

Amazon and Shopkick team up to deliver a prime experience

Amazon addicts, rejoice! There’s one gift that’s come early this year: Amazon.com has arrived on Shopkick. Get kicks for shopping special categories on Amazon through Shopkick — and turn those kicks into more rewards and awesome gift cards! Check out Amazon fashion, devices, and more on the Shopkick app.


Get decked out with Amazon Fashion

This holiday season, look no further than Amazon Fashion, a one-stop destination for head-to-toe style. Amazon brings the fitting room to you: trying on clothes, accessories, and more on at home – and sending them back – is easy with free shipping and free returns on eligible items. Plus, their ratings and reviews come make it easy to decide it you should order.
Amazon Fashion in Shopkick
Amazon Fashion in Shopkick app

“Alexa, make this the best holiday ever!”

Get kicks for this season’s hottest Amazon devices. Amazon has devices for everything from streaming video on the Fire Stick, to setting up your smart home with Alexa and Echo Dots. These devices make it easy to instantly play music, make calls, set timers, ask questions, and control your smart home, all by using your voice.

Amazon offers free 2-day shipping for millions of items to its Prime Members. Not a Prime member yet? Shopkickers are in luck! When you purchase a new 12-month subscription through the app you’ll earn a $20 Amazon Gift Card from Shopkick. In addition to the free 2-day shipping and everyday Lightning Deals — you’ll fall in love with instant access to tens of thousands of movies and TV shows.

This newest addition to Shopkick could not come at a better time with the holiday season fast approaching. Earn kicks when you buy gifts on Amazon.com for the family, then redeem your kicks for Amazon gift cards for the holidays!

How it works

Follow these steps to start earning your free gift cards while getting the best deals on Amazon.com:

1. Download the Shopkick app
2. Find Amazon.com under online stores
3. Shop to your heart’s content

Get started

What are you waiting for? Earn your kicks now to reward yourself! Download the app here.

Happy Shopkicking!

5 Trends from Thanksgiving to Cyber Monday

Throughout the beginning of the year, the media was consumed with stories of a retail apocalypse; exemplified by mounting bankruptcies and store closures as well as consumer spending shifting away from retail and towards experiences, dining and travel.  So all eyes were on the biggest shopping weekend of the year, Thanksgiving-Cyber Monday, to evaluate both the current health and the long-term viability of the beleaguered retail industry.

The results? Blockbuster sales all weekend long for both physical and online retailers, propelled forward by aggressive promotions and a surge in mobile shopping. Adobe Analytics reported that American consumers spent $19.62 billion online over the five-day period from Nov. 23, 2017 (Thanksgiving) through Nov. 27 (Cyber Monday). This was $2.6 billion and 15% more than they spent during the same timeframe last year. At Shopkick, our users actively shopped throughout the long weekend both in-stores and on their phones at retailers like Amazon, Best Buy, TJX, Walmart, Kohls and eBay.

Below, we explore 5 key Thanksgiving-Cyber Monday trends and what they mean for the rest of the holiday shopping season.

1. Shopping is spread out throughout the whole weekend

Given that discounts are readily available to consumers year-round, and holiday discounts started in early November, Black Friday has mostly lost its significance as THE make-or-break shopping day. Also the nature of the event has changed, as better online and mobile experiences has meant that the days of millions of consumers waiting outside for doorbuster deals and enduring jostling crowds are largely over as consumers can shop from the comfort of their own homes or phones.

While Shoppertrak found that foot traffic did decline on Thanksgiving and Black Friday by 1.6% from last year, sales were up, especially online sales.  Thanksgiving Day saw a surge in online spending in the U.S., with purchases growing 18.3% to $2.87 billion compared to last year’s $1.3 billion, according to Adobe Analytics. On Black Friday, a record $5.03 billion was spent online, an increase of 16.9% over last year and a new record for the day. A good deal of the shopping took place on the websites of physical retailers – not just online only retailers. Finally, on Cyber Monday, a record $6.59 billion was spent online, an increase of 16.8 % over 2016, making it the largest mostly U.S.-based online shopping day in history and nearly a billion dollars more than last year at $5.6 billion.

2. A surge in mobile shopping

Consumers are now much more comfortable shopping and transacting on mobile devices. On Black Friday, Adobe reported smartphones accounted for 45% of visits and 26% of revenue for online retailers, working out to just under $2 billion in sales. On Cyber Monday, purchases made on smartphones broke records with $2 billion in sales. Adobe said early data for Cyber Monday activity showed mobile driving nearly 40% of online sales.

Another positive sign is that conversion rates on mobile are improving, due to improved apps, wallet integrations, and mobile transactions closing at a 12 percent higher rate year on year. Conversion rates on smartphones were at 3.5%, a 10% increase over last year according to Adobe.

3. Amazon vs. everyone else

Amazon continued to assert its dominance, and not just on Cyber Monday. Amazon accounted for half of Black Friday online sales. Based on web traffic, Amazon and Walmart increased their combined market share by 1.5%, while Target, JCPenney, and Sears all lost ground. Cyber Monday was Amazon’s biggest shopping day in company history, beating out the previous record holder, Prime Day. Amazon isn’t planning on slowing down anytime soon as their Amazon Prime subscriber growth — in terms of both numbers and how much they spend — sets them up nicely for the rest of the season.

4. Differences between online and in-store shopping

NRF and Prosper Insights found that more Americans shopped both in-stores and online, rather than sticking with just one channel. 38% of shoppers shopped both online and in-stores whereas 33% shopped online only and 29% shopped in-store only. These multichannel shoppers are more valuable to retailers, spending $82 more on average than the online-only shopper, and $49 more on average than those shoppers who only shopped in stores.

Aside from shoppers, successful omnichannel retailers are tailoring their marketing and merchandising strategies to each shopping environment. Walmart, for example, had more discounts online for heavy or bulky items like electronics that are more suitable for shipping, whereas in-store was stocked with deals for smaller, impulse buys.

5. Driving the sale: differentiated experience or discounts

Retailers essentially had 2 options to drive sales during this time: either rely on discounts or create a differentiated experience. Those that can drive sales through differentiated experiences, such as product assortment or a stellar in-store and mobile experience will protect their margins and equity against those that solely rely on heavy discounting.

Smart, not blanket, promotional strategies will win out as retailers are under tremendous pressure to feed today’s discount-driven consumer, with research showing that more than 60% of holiday shoppers are motivated by discounts. In fact, retailers have already discounted goods 10% more this year than last. These major discounts early in the holiday season lead consumers to believe that deeper discounts will be coming.

A positive outlook for the rest of the season!

While the immediate week following Black Friday was slower, as consumers recuperate and remember the doorbuster deals, December is poised to be strong for retailers. Healthy economic conditions for consumers and strong confidence should result in robust sales for physical and online retailers alike. Retailers must focus on strategies that engage shoppers across channels with relevant content, merchandise, experiences and promotions.

Get ready for our Black Friday and Cyber Monday event

Save the date! Our biggest kick event yet is coming up starting Black Friday. Give thanks with family and friends this Thanksgiving, and then let the holiday shopping begin!

You can get thousands of kicks when you walk in, scan, and make purchases in stores like Walmart, Target, and more. Plus, earn double the kicks in store when you use your linked card to purchase at stores, including TJ Maxx.

Looking to shop online? You’ll also be able to earn more kicks than ever when you shop online at stores like Walmart.com, eBay, Groupon, and more through the Shopkick app. Get a head start and begin planning your kicks now!

Happy shopkicking!


Check out the Black Friday & Cyber Monday kick plan!

Take a look at the plan below, or see it here.

Join the #HolidayShopkicking Twitter Party for a chance to win major prizes

We’re counting down to Black Friday and Cyber Monday with an epic #HolidayShopkicking Twitter Party!  Join us on Monday, November 20 at 10am PST (1pm EST) for the chance to win gift cards and major prizes to start your holiday shopping off with a bang.


What’s a Twitter Party?

A Twitter Party is a chat on Twitter where people come together to share stories and advice, and can win prizes all hour long!

Follow Shopkick on TwitterSTEP 1:

Follow @Shopkick and the conversation through the party hashtag #HolidayShopkicking.



Question Screenshot on Shopkick Twitter Party STEP 2: 

Look out for numbered questions from @Shopkick to answer. Questions will come in the form of Q1: [Question].

Ex: Q1: Are you joining the party?


User responding to Twitter Shopkicking Party


Reply to each question with the hashtags #HolidayShopkicking and #Sweepstakes in the format A1: [Your answer].

Ex: A1: Of course I’m joining the party! #HolidayShopkicking #Sweepstakes


Our favorite answers will win prizes throughout the hour

Holiday Shopkicking Twitter Party prizes

We have some great prizes lined up for Twitter party winners! The grand prize is a 4K TV which will be perfect for watching the game or binge-watching your favorite show in super high definition. Other prizes include a Hallmark keepsake ornament gift set, Watch Station gift box set, a $100 gift card to Boxed, and four $50 gift cards to Carter’s and Oshkosh. We’ll also be giving away gift cards to Walmart, Amazon, Starbucks, and Best Buy, plus thousands of kicks!

You can read the official rules here.

Can’t see the form properly?
Open it in a new tab.


Don’t forget: you need Shopkick to get kicks! Don’t have the app? Download it today!