A shopkick ad in Times Square. Photo Credit: shopkick Inc.

A shopkick ad in Times Square. Photo Credit: shopkick Inc.

I don’t remember how I first stumbled upon shopkick, but I know I was immediately intrigued. The app had mainly positive reviews on Apple’s app store and promised a unique concept – earning points for gift cards simply for walking into stores. The points, known as ‘kicks,’ are collected by users to gain free gift cards to popular stores like Target, Macy’s, Old Navy and more. I have been using shopkick since last summer, and with its newest update, I thought now would be the perfect time to write about my experience so far.

To use shopkick, offered on both Apple and Android devices, users open the app to discover what stores near them offer kicks. Kicks at nearby stores can be obtained by just walking in to the store and also by scanning featured items, usually new products which their brands want to promote. The amount of kicks rewarded varies by store and changes weekly. Both of these aspects have usually worked great for me. Walk-in kicks have always worked effectively in mid-sized stores like Target and Old Navy, but fail to work in department stores like Macy’s and JCPenney. Whether it is because of the app itself or the size of the store, this is an issue that shopkick should work on so I and other users don’t mindlessly walk around waiting for walk-in kicks to be rewarded.

The app was recently updated after the introduction of Apple’s new operating system iOS 7. The update matches iOS 7’s look, with a greater use of bold colors and a more modern aesthetic overall. However, this new look has been given mixed reviews, as some users complain of a cluttered and confusing layout. The app’s customer rating in Apple’s app store has notably dropped due to this.


The updated shopkick home screen. Photo Credit: shopkick Inc.

I also thought the update confusing at first, but quickly got used to it and now prefer it to the previous version of the app. On the updated version of shopkick, new products are front and center, accumulated on the app’s home screen in large pictures. This seems to place an emphasis on helping users find products they may like and purchase more than just scanning products. Another addition to the update is the filter in the upper-right corner. Through this filter, users can check out the editor’s books, which are “books” users swipe through to see new products and find extra kicks.

On the previous version of shopkick, editor’s books and their hidden kicks could only be found by selecting each individual store’s tab and looking through the books one by one. With the filter added to the update, users can now look through all editor’s books without having to tediously check each store. This is probably my favorite part of the update. It’s an easy and quick way to earn some kicks.

Of course, the best part of shopkick is the variety of rewards available. When browsing through rewards, I actually have a hard time choosing the reward I want! Some participating stores are Target, Macy’s, JCPenney and American Eagle. Even gift cards for higher-end stores, like Tiffany & Co. and Coach, are available, though those obviously require more kicks.

The last reward I earned on shopkick was the $10 Sephora gift card mentioned in this previous post. That gift card saved me a lot on my purchase and I earned it fairly quickly. Although shopkick has its hiccups that could be improved, it’s definitely my favorite app. For college students looking to save some money or treat yourself at your favorite store, shopkick is a great way to do so.

This is just a brief review of shopkick, as there are many interesting aspects waiting to be discovered by new users. Whether it is earning kicks or finding new purchases, shopkick is a great tool for those who love to shop. So, what are you waiting for? Download shopkick now and watch the savings add up.