The recently launched Shopkick app allows consumers to check into certain retail locations simply by walking through the door. The app helps to turn offline sites into interactive worlds, and allows shoppers to collect instant "kickbucks" that can be redeemed for various rewards like gift cards. So far, the company, founded by Cyriac Roeding, Jeff Sellinger, and Aaron Emigh, has partnered with retailers like Macys, Simon Property Group, which runs 370 shopping centers in the U.S., and Best Buy. Starting tomorrow, Shopkick's partnership with the latter is set to go live in 257 stores in L.A., NYC, Chicago, San Francisco and San Jose. By October 1, the program will be add 70 more Best Buy outlets in Miami, Minneapolis and Dallas.
The automatic check in works through a special speaker system set up in each retail outfit. Each speaker projects a sound that's detectable only by mobile phones mics. Those signals contain store-specific codes that activate installed apps.