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Best Buy Tests Street-Traffic Rewards Tool

8/03/2010 04:33:10 PM Eastern

San Francisco -
Best Buy said Tuesday it will help Silicon Valley-based startup Shopkick launch patent-pending Shopkick
Signal location technology and its Shopkick mobile shopping application at the
Best Buy store on 13th Street, here.

The Shopkick app
is due to launch over the coming weeks in several additional U. S. Best Buy markets.

Shopkick offers
the first location-based mobile application that promises consumer offers and
rewards for shopping, as well as for just walking into a retail location, Shopkick
said.

Unlike traditional
GPS location-based services that require a shopper to "check in," and offer an
accuracy radius of 100 to 1,000 yards (within a block or two), Shopkick Signal
technology requires no consumer check-in and can guarantee that a user is truly
present in the retail location.

"We asked
ourselves: ‘If foot traffic is the challenge for physical retailers, then why
does nobody ever reward consumers for walking into stores?' " stated Cyriac
Roeding, co-founder and CEO, Shopkick. "Best Buy was the first retailer to
share in our vision that the future of retail lies in mobile. Now consumers can
get rewarded not just for shopping, but simply for walking into a store. Our
Shopkick Signal technology is so precise that for that first time,
location-based rewards are economically viable for retailers, because consumers
are truly inside the store, rather than elsewhere in the vicinity of the store,
such as the parking lot."

Best Buy said it
will use the Shopkick technologies on an experimental basis in select U.S.
stores to explore the likelihood that consumers will value and redeem rewards
points and offers through mobile retail applications.

The retail chain
integrated Shopkick directly into its point-of-sale system in the San Francisco
store to streamline the redemption of special offers. Customers walk up to the
cashier, provide the mobile phone number connected to their Shopkick app, and
any applicable personalized discounts immediately appear on their receipt.

"Smartphones and
mobile technology, increasingly used for research during the shopping process,
are bridging digital and physical shopping experiences in promising ways for
consumers -- in the store, from check-in to check-out, right on their smartphones,"
said Richard Rommel, senior VP, new business customer solutions group, Best
Buy. "The convergence of location technology and rewards to personalize an
experience with Best Buy is at the heart of our vision of the connected world,
and we will work with services like Shopkick that can add value to our
customers."

To use the
service, consumers download a free Shopkick mobile application for their smart
phones. The Shopkick app for iPhone will be available in the coming weeks on
the App Store, followed by apps for additional smartphones.

When the Shopkick
app is open on the smartphone, it detects the Shopkick Signal technology
installed in the retail location as the consumer walks through the door, and
the shopper instantly receives rewards, called "Kickbucks."

Shopkick explained
that because the detection occurs on the consumer's phone, the privacy of
presence information is completely under the user's control.

Kickbucks can be
immediately redeemed for Facebook credits, songs from Napster, immediate
in-store cash-back rewards at Shopkick partner stores, magazine subscriptions
and donations to charities.

Retailers like
Best Buy that support the Shopkick app also will deliver consumers special
in-store deals, and/or added bonuses for scanning barcodes of specific
products. Similar to the "cost per click" traffic-based online business model,
retailers will pay Shopkick only for those consumers who walk into their stores
with the Shopkick app recognizing the in-store Shopkick Signal system.