4 ways loyalty drives mobile shopping behavior

There’s nothing more valuable than a loyal user – but finding these consumers on mobile can be a huge challenge for many brands and retailers.  At Button’s Tap Conference in New York City, CEO Bill Demas spoke on a panel about how loyalty programs like Shopkick can be one of the best channels to acquire mobile customers that spend more, frequently.  Shared at the conference, here are 4 strategies to drive loyalty and results for brands and retailers.

Leverage location-based technology to drive timely physical conversions

Location intelligence and data are key for bridging the online-offline gap. When done right, location-based technology can be incredibly powerful for connecting brands and retailers with shoppers with demonstrated purchase intent. Yet most companies don’t have access to first-party offline location data and instead must rely on third-party bid stream data.  Less than 1% of the location data from ad exchanges is accurate enough to help marketers understand people’s movements in the real world. Even then, the most high-quality data doesn’t actually tie to store visits.

At Shopkick, we leverage a combination of geofencing/GPS, beacon/BLE and other technology to verify when a shopper enters the store with a high degree of accuracy.  We are also able to detect visits to the dressing room, or interactions with a product at shelf. This new level of precision can help brands avoid costly and opaque traditional marketing tactics, like endcap placements.

Change consumer behavior with incentives

Rewards and incentives play a huge role in the purchase journey and most consumers now expect some form of value-exchange for their purchases.  As a result, discounts, rebates, promotions and loyalty points are central to most brands’ and retailers’ marketing strategies. However, because they have become so ubiquitous, these tactics are less motivating and often end up hurting profit margins and brand equity just to drive the short-term sale.

The Shopkick ecosystem is entirely fueled by kicks, or points, that reward desired shopping behaviors.  However instead of just being rewarded for the purchase, users earn kicks for engagements throughout their journey, like browsing content and online offers, watching videos, inviting friends, walking into stores, engaging with products online and at the shelf, and making on- and offline purchases. We know this incentive model is capable of changing consumer behavior: take Lily, a Shopkick user in Houston who recently told us, “If I need to go grocery shopping and Walmart has more kicks, I’ll go there.” Offering kicks can drive the same behaviors as discounts or rebates, but cost much less for the brand or retailer.

Incorporate gamification tactics to drive re-engagement and retention

Incorporating gamification tactics into loyalty strategies can be a great way to both engage consumers to keep them active and retained, and re-engage lapsed buyers. Conventional gaming tactics like planning workflows, completing projects and levelling up makes earning rewards feel more like a game. When shoppers accomplish their goals, like reach their next reward threshold, there’s a great sense of satisfaction and accomplishment.

Another way to drive re-engagement and retention is reward them often. With Shopkick’s entry into mobile shopping, we’re now rewarding for mobile browsing and buying too, and with grocery, we’re able to keep in frequent touch, making even mundane errands a treat. Every engagement, every behavior, every purchase provides a chance to acknowledge their loyalty: beginning at the moment of consideration vs. just at the point of purchase – and continues with them along their journey.

For example we’ll message our users about upcoming milestones based on their specific behavior. If a user is saving kicks for a Starbucks gift card, we’ll alert her to reward-earning opportunities to help her achieve that Pumpkin Spice Latte. By delivering these moment of joy and fun, we’re able to drive increased brand equity, engagements and purchases.

Strategically partner with companies that elevate the user experience

In selecting partners, businesses must never lose sight of the consumer experience. At Shopkick, we have invested heavily in understanding our core customer, primarily moms who take on the heavy lifting of household shopping but also like to treat themselves. Our approach to strategic partners is always through the lens of how we can elevate the user experience. We want to match the best brands and retailers to our users and ensure our shoppers have a consistently valuable experience, from content on the platform to browsing offers to scanning products to making purchases to redeeming rewards.

As we continue to grow our product offerings, we focus on what our users want and pay close attention to their feedback. What we heard loud and clear is that our users want to be able to seamlessly shop across channels, and that primarily means shopping on mobile. We partnered with Button to be able to integrate with the mobile shopping companies that our users frequently buy, like eBay, Groupon, Boxed and Jet.com. Users are now rewarded for browsing and buying on mobile and after only 2 months, we’ve seen extraordinary results. We’re excited to expand to new verticals like travel, ticketing marketplaces, and alcohol delivery.

Top takeaways from Mary Meeker’s 2017 Internet Trends Report

Mary Meeker’s annual Internet Trends Report is essentially required reading for anyone who works in tech and advertising. In 355 slides, she analyzes relevant trends in internet adoption, advertising + commerce, media + entertainment, gaming, enterprise healthcare, China, India and startups.

In this post, we break down some of the key trends that advertisers need to know:

Meet consumers where they spend their time

The shift to mobile continues as consumers increasingly concentrate more of their media time in mobile at the expense of other channels. However, advertising dollars have not kept pace resulting in a $16 billion opportunity based on the gap between consumer time spent in mobile and advertising dollars spent in mobile. It’s critical for marketers who seek to build relationships with consumers to meet them where they are spending their time.  In today’s advertising economy, consumer attention is the new currency.


Challenges in cross-channel ad measurability

While advertisers rely on measurable engagement metrics, there are still widespread challenges in measuring ROI and offline metrics like conversion and revenue. Before even measuring sales, most marketers and platforms are still trying to figure out if and how their digital activities drove in-store visits.  For example, Snap recently acquired PlaceIQ, and Google have Facebook are now attempting to track store visits and sales through POS data. In 2016, Deloitte reported that digital’s influence on in-store sales surpassed 50%, influencing 56% of all in-store retail sales.  Yet understanding this influence on a shopper-level is still a challenge for most retailers.  In fact, 67% of retail executives said their greatest obstacle in offering an omnichannel experience is tracking customer analytics across channels. See more on how Shopkick measures online to offline attribution here.


Understand the ads that consumers want

Consumers increasingly view non-native advertising formats as both interruptive and annoying, which is why ad blocking software penetration continues to grow. Already close to 20% of US consumers have it installed and that number is much higher in developing markets like China and India.  However, there are ad formats that are viewed more positively, particularly incentive-based video ads tied to mobile app rewards, social click-to-play and skippable pre-roll. For example, 68% of consumers view mobile app reward video ads as positive vs just 19% for mobile app pop-up video ads. This has implications for viewability and engagement going forward, and incentive-based video will continue to grow with consumer favorability.

Shopkick has seen tremendous results with rewarding users for watching video on our platform.  Our engagement rates are significantly higher than industry standards, with a 93% completion rate vs. 68% (IAB). Video is also a powerful driver of in-store activity, increasing both product engagements and purchases. See a case study from Barilla on the power of incentive-based video on driving in-store metrics here.


Incorporate gamification tactics to optimize loyalty and engagement

Mary Meeker examines best practice gaming mechanics like repetition, planning workflows, solving puzzles, completing projects, leveling up, and competition. Successful non-gaming companies have also incorporated these tactics into their products to optimize consumer learning and engagement.

Shopkick is a shopping rewards program, and like many other loyalty programs, we have incorporated conventional gaming tactics into our app to keep our users active, engaged and retained.  As a result, users report feelings of great satisfaction and accomplishment after having earned rewards and accumulated kicks.  Advertisers should incorporate these mechanics into marketing strategies on a campaign level or when selecting advertising partners. These tactics can be leveraged to keep consumer’s attention, keep them engaged, and keep them loyal.

To read the full Internet Trends Report, view here.

eBook: 5 Proven Marketing Strategies for Challenger Brands

The rapid adoption of digital technologies and evolving shopping behaviors are transforming the CPG industry. Never before have smaller, ”challenger” brands had this level of opportunity to quickly respond to changing consumer preferences and bring their products to market both online and in-stores.  However, with that opportunity comes many new challenges. Challenger brands must compete for wallet share against the more established corporations with big budgets, extensive distribution and established brand equity, as well as against many of the ”new” players that are marketing themselves similarly. How can challenger brands reach new customers to build awareness, drive engagement and ultimately sales of their products in the face of with limited marketing budgets and big competition?


Here are 5 proven marketing strategies for challenger brands:

1. Reach new customers before they even enter the store with engaging video content
2. Communicate with customers in-store and stand out at shelf
3. Incentivize purchase without eroding your profit margin by offering rewards not discounts
4. Gamify the shopping experience to keep customers coming back
5. Effectively track an omnichannel campaign for deeper consumer insights


To learn more, check out our eBook.


Webinar: Challenger brand strategies for CPG success

As a challenger brand in the CPG space, how can you stand out among the corporate brand portfolios and increase awareness for your products? With a limited budget, and in the face of ever increasing options, it’s critical to carefully consider where your marketing dollars will go the farthest.

In this webinar on demand, Shopkick brand expert Michael Reda talks about how challenger brands can create efficient, measurable and meaningful results.

You’ll learn how to:

  • Increase brand awareness without eroding your profit margin by offering rewards
  • Reach new customers before they even enter the store
  • Gamify the shopping experience to keep customers coming back
  • Effectively track an omnichannel campaign for deeper consumer insights