Free Shopkick App Rewards You Just for Shopping
App Review Series: This series is written by members of Social Fabric to educate other members about new apps, how to use them, and their opinions about the apps. These are not sponsored posts, but written by members that volunteered to do a review.
Not everybody is a shopaholic and I confess that shopping is not “one of my favorite things,” but we all do it so we may as well get “rewarded” for our efforts. That’s the idea behind the free Shopkick app.
Whether you love shopping or it’s just something you do to pick up items you need, Shopkick shopping rewards program simplifies the concept of “rewards.” You don’t have to bother with plastic cards, confusing rules or extra steps.
You just walk into your favorite stores like Target, Macy’s, Best Buy, Old Navy, Toys “R” Us, Sports Authority and more – even gas stations – and you automatically rack up reward points, called “kicks.”
You can use the kicks you rack up anytime to treat yourself with a free latte at Starbucks, gift cards at many stores, iTunes song downloads, even designer merchandise (Tiffany & Co. jewelry, for example!) and trips. Each reward has a pre-determined number of kicks you must collect to redeem that reward.
I downloaded Shopkick from the iTunes store onto my iPhone 4s AND my iPad – you can never have too many rewards, wink. Shopkick is compatible with iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, iPhone 4S, iPhone 5, iPod touch (3rd generation), iPod touch (4th generation), iPod touch (5th generation) and iPad. Requires iOS 5.0 or later. Also works with Android phones. The iPhone version has 4.5 out of 5 stars with over 1,200 reviews – that’s an impressive “report card.”
You don’t have to fill out any of those intrusive store reward applications. You don’t even have to actually buy anything, either. You just walk in with your smartphone, or one of those other devices, and instantly earn kicks. There are also discounts and deals within the app.
Earn kicks by: buying items, scanning items and by just walking into a participating store.
The app includes Lookbooks that organize items and deals into topics of interest. You can “fave” the deals inside the Lookbooks and when you walk into the store, you see your saved items in the app.
Extra tip you should know: If you browse through the Lookbook BEFORE you ever get to the store (takes less than a minute), you get extra kicks next time you walk into that store! But you have to remember to do it before getting to the store.
Since Bed Bath & Beyond is about three blocks away from me and happens to be one of my favorite stores, I browsed the five Lookbooks before heading over there (to earn those coveted extra kicks for very little effort).
Unfortunately, when I got there, my iPhone’s location service was inaccurate, showing me at .2 miles away when I was actually standing in the store, so I didn’t get any kicks for “just walking in.”
I found Shopkick easy to use, though, once I played around with it a bit. It’s mostly navigated through by “swiping,” but you can also turn the “swipe pile” into a list, which I found quicker to use. Most of the bigger, more popular stores, such as the ones I mentioned above, all offer kicks, but some of the smaller boutique stores in my immediate neighborhood do not participate.
Since I don’t drive in New York City, it’s not as easy for me to just “pop in” to participating stores, but the app does include a nice user interface for finding local shops, maps included, even if those shops are not participating. I like that the developers don’t exclude stores just because they are not Shopkick participants.
That’s where the app’s Out & About map and Cheat Sheet features come in handy – they help you find and collect as many kicks as possible in one place and help you remember “hot picks” and deals you love within the app while directing you right to the participating stores. (Chances are your favorite stores are participating.)
Easy to navigate
Many favorite stores participate
No purchase necessary to earn kicks (reward points)
Nice variety of rewards you actually want
Many boutique stores in my neighborhood not participating
Dependent on location service accuracy
Overall, I like Shopkick. I like anything that helps make my life less stressful – stress causes aging! – and that’s where Shopkick really shined for me. It puts all the shopping information at my fingertips so I don’t even have to think, plus rewards me just for walking into the store even if I don’t buy anything (when the location service works)!
I think someone who really loves shopping would love the app because the more you shop, the more kicks you earn and the quicker you can cash them in for the many desirable rewards offered. Happy shopping!
Social Fabric App Reviewer: Jackie Silver
Jackie Silver is Aging Backwards and she shares her secrets, tips and shortcuts in her books, on television and radio, online and in person. Her new book, How to Think Yourself Slim, Healthy & Young, launched February 8, 2013.