Target Brings Location-Based Rewards App to Stores

Shopkick gives shoppers points when they enter a Target store, and points can be redeemed for various rewards.

Minneapolis-based Target Corporation said Wednesday that it has begun offering mobile application Shopkick to customers nationwide—and it claims to be largest retailer to offer the location-based rewards app.

Once customers download the free app to their smartphones, Shopkick uses GPS technology to detect store visitors. Immediately upon entering any Target location, the app rewards shoppers with points called “kicks.” Customers can also earn kicks by walking through the store and scanning the barcodes of various items.

Kicks can be redeemed for Target gift cards, Facebook credits, restaurant gift certificates, iTunes downloads, donations to charities, and other rewards. Through Shopkick, customers can also receive in-store deals, including coupons and discounts.

Even when Shopkick users are not inside a Target store, they can open the app on their smartphones and view new rewards and offers.

Target tested the app prior to launching it nationwide.

“In our test launch, Target guests in seven cities had the opportunity to experience Shopkick at Target, and we received rave reviews,” Bonnie Gross, Target vice president of marketing and guest engagement, said in a statement. “Now guests nationwide can start earning valuable points just by shopping our stores.”

Although Shopkick is new to Target, it has been used by a number of other retailers for several years. In fall 2010, major mall operator Simon Property Group struck a deal with Palo Alto, California-based Shopkick to bring the app to more than 100 of its malls across the country. Simon-operated Southdale Mall in Edina and Maplewood Mall in Maplewood both use Shopkick.

Also in fall 2010, Richfield-based Best Buy Company, Inc., introduced Shopkick at 23 of its Minnesota stores and 257 stores across the country. Then in May 2011, the electronics retailer expanded its use of Shopkick and began offering it to customers at almost all of its nationwide locations.

Target is Minnesota’s second-largest public company based on revenue, which totaled $69.9 billion for the fiscal year that ended in January. It serves customers nationally at its 1,767 stores and through its website, Target.com, and it plans to open its first Canada stores next year.