Shopkick Goes Local With Citi

Going after local businesses, shopping app Shopkick has partnered with Citi to offer free service installation to its first 1,000 small business partners in 10 U.S. cities. "What's getting installed, anyway?" asks Business Insider. "A small box that sits in the store and emits an audio signal: That is how the Shopkick app verifies that you are actually inside the store, which is required before you can earn Shopkick points."

Shopkick points, in case you're wondering, can be redeemed for real-money rewards, so merchants insist on making sure users are actually inside the store, not just "checking in" from wherever with, say, Foursquare. Not even a year old, Shopkick has already has had success partnering with big, nationwide chains, like Best Buy, Target, Macy's, and Crate and Barrel.

Having already signed up nearly 2 million users, the company believes it grow much large through local-business partnerships. "Groupon, a quasi-competitor, has shown that an Internet company can get small, local businesses to participate in web deals ... So it's a good idea for Shopkick to try this," BI believes. Launch cities include New York, NY; Los Angeles and San Francisco/Bay Area, Calif; Seattle, Wash; and Washington D.C.

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