This post may contain sponsored or affiliate links.
I signed up for Shopkick in October, but didn’t take the time to really figure it out until January. Since then, I have earned over $100 in Target gift cards, which in my case, will translate into free spending money at Disney World.
I have referred MANY people to this program, but MANY of them are confused by it as I was in the beginning. So, I wanted to try to explain it better now that I have a better understanding myself.
First of all, people want to know why would you be able to earn this much in FREE gift cards? What’s the catch? Here is my theory on the basis of the program.
Let, just use Target as an example. Target will to spend MILLIONS on commercials when most people are watching TV via DVR and fast forwarding through those MILLION dollar ads. Of course, they will continue to do that, but they also need an alternative to the tv commercial advertising. They need their ads in your face. But, instead of the commercials you are skipping through, what it usually in your face? YOUR PHONE!
So, if they can advertise on your very own phone, they get their ads IN YOUR FACE! But, how do they make sure you actually LOOK AT the ads? Here is where Shopkick comes in.
If you just simply walk in the door of the store, you get kicks! BUT, you will not get those kicks until you UNLOCK them. How do you UNLOCK THEM? By looking through that store’s ads, aka Lookbooks!
This is a Lookbook! AKA a catalog in the palm of your hand! It also shows you that you can get kicks for walking into this particular store. (This one is for 60 walk-in kicks at American Eagle) When you tap the page, you will see a group of lookbooks for this store and you can choose which ones to look through.
Now, that you have looked through a Lookbook or two, you realize that there are more kicks hidden in these lookbooks! So, you look through MORE of them to get the hidden points and bonuses, and therefore, are viewing MORE ads.
<—Notice the gray lock over the “60”?
<—Tap on one of these lookbooks and start swiping right to left. If you pass something and want to go back, swipe left to right and the last page should come back. Note the stars?? That means there are Kicks or bonuses hidden in these books.
As you are swiping through the books, you will see the envelope above on the left. Tap it and you will see the above right screen. This is the kick “bubble”. This is what you find when you tap those hidden envelopes. You just earned one kick while you were sitting in the Dr’s office, or the car line, or the bathtub….whatever. (The bubble will also appear on your walk-ins and scans.)
Also, on these two shots, notice the slider approaching the locked 60 across the top. This is progressing as you look through the lookbook. Once you get all the way to the right, your 60 kicks are unlocked and waiting for you!
P.S. – Also, sometimes, the envelopes have Bonus items in them instead of a kick! These go to your Bonus board and when you complete that row (usually 3 related items), you get extra kicks. This is automatic and there is nothing that you can do to help this. It’s just hidden within your lookbooks. Once you tap the envelope and a bonus item in there, it will automatically go to the Bonus Board.
But, “while I’m here, I might as well pick up some XYZ.” So, now you are in the store and you are shopping. BUT WAIT, THERE’S MORE! You can get MORE kicks by scanning items throughout the store! So, you go find those items and PICK THEM UP TO SCAN THEM! So, now, these evil geniuses have made you look at their ads, have gotten you into their stores, and have even PUT CERTAIN PRODUCTS IN YOUR HAND!!!
Do you get it now? Do you see what “the catch” is? It’s specifically targeted marketing and advertising. And rather effective, I might add!
If you tap the “Find Kicks Waiting Nearby” banner at the BOTTOM of your screen, it will open to this page:
This page shows you how many kicks are available around you. In this instance, if I tapped the “Mandeville” bubble, it would then show me specific amounts available at the stores in Mandeville. It will show me the stores, their addresses and if there are walk-in or just scan kicks available. So, let’s continue with American Eagle. On the left pic below, I would tap that top bar that shows my 50 kicks and get the middle pic below. This shows me more specifics about that store. I can get 50 kicks for walking in the door with my app opened. Then, I can get 25 more kicks for scanning something. Let’s touch that 25 and see what we have to scan! Apparently, there is a poster in the fitting room that you can scan for 25 kicks. See the right pic?
So, now that we understand WHY this program exists and HOW it is that these stores allow you to earn these cards. Let me try to better explain how to use the program to its fullest potential for you.
First of all, view your lookbooks everyday and look for the blue stars. That’s the clue that there are hidden kicks or bonuses. Scroll through those books and tap the envelopes that you find within. Not only will you get those hidden kicks, but you will also raise your walk-in kicks.
Go to the stores if you are in the area. Go often. There are some limitations to how often you can earn walk-ins, but your app will tell you something like “Walk-in kicks available in 8 days” if you have maxed out that store. Also, once you unlock your Walk-in kicks, it will show you how long they are good for. So, if you have 200 or something, it’s probably a promotion and may only be good for one day! Keep an eye on that!
After you walk in, check your scans. You may have several hundred kicks’ worth of scans within just a few items. There are always promotional items that give you bonuses. For example:
There was a s’mores offer recently. Get 10 kicks each for Jet Puffed marshmallows, Hershey Bars, HoneyMaid Graham Crackers. So, that’s 30 kicks. But, if you got all 3, you got a bonus of 70! So, you just earned 100 kicks!
Sometimes you may find bonus scanning promotions in your lookbooks. Something like, “Scan these 3 Juices and get 100 kicks!) Those are very limited in time and sometimes in quantity. So, if you can get them, get them now.
Finally, there may be HUGE bonus opportunities in the lookbooks from time to time. Just this week, I found this (it’s no longer available that I can tell):
This offer encouraged you to redeem your kicks for a Target gift card in the amount of $5, 10 or $25. If you did so, you would get a 100 Kick Booster on your next walk-in to Target.
So, because I have done this offer in the past (and was waiting to cash out for my Disney trip with hopes that it would re-appear), I knew that even though I had enough kicks for a $25 Target card, I needed to get Five $5 cards instead. It’s the same amount of kicks. But, the last time I found this offer, it gave me 100 kicks PER redeemed Target card the next time I walked in! So rather than get ONE $25 card, I got FIVE $5 cards and therefore FIVE 100-Kick Boosters. (See above right) So, next time I walk in to Target, I will get my 55 kicks that I currently show, PLUS 500 Kicks when these boosters push through! Just the boosters are enough for a $2 Target card!
Here are how the gift cards break down –
$2 Target card = 500 Kicks
$5 Target card = 1250 Kicks
$10 Target card = 2500 Kicks
$25 Target card = 6250 Kicks
You do not get Walk-ins just for “Being in the store”. Your phone has to “hear” a signal that is being remitted through a piece of hardware. So, here are a few tips about walk-ins at our local stores:
Covington Target gives your kicks when you enter the SECOND sliding door. I have no trouble there ever. Make sure the app is open before you enter and you should get your bubble before you hit the Dollar Spot! I have done Slidell once and don’t remember any problems there either.
Covington Best Buy -says that there are two devices. One is in the back near the computers, but I haven’t found it. Sometimes, I get the kicks instantly, but lately, I have had to “Go get them”. When you enter Best Buy and you are between the two doors, there is a white receptacle on your right where you can deposit used devices. There is a small, white “modem” like thing sitting toward the back of that receptacle. That device is the Shopkick transmitter. If you stand between that receptacle and the 2nd door, facing the receptacle, it should chime off within a couple seconds. I have done that twice now.
American Eagle – I have done Mandeville and Lakeside. Both walk-ins come up instantly. At the Mandeville store, you can literally walk in and make a U turn and walk right back out. Your kicks are that quick to chime off. I went to Lakeside Saturday and that was the first time that I noticed the poster scan in the fitting room. They couldn’t find it. I haven’t investigated this at Mandeville yet, but I may do that this evening.
Old Navy…..GRRRRRRR. In almost 4 months of doing this, I have gotten Old Navy ONE TIME. They know where the device is. It is directly above and right over the door if you are inside the store facing out. IT. DOES. NOT. WORK. FOR. ME. This is VERY frustrating because I have lost 120 walk-ins multiple times. They have been reported to Shopkick by users and by the employees themselves. It is not being resolved for some reason. So, if you are there, by all means, try it! But, don’t make a special trip. You will leave angry.
Macy’s – I have tried twice at Lakeside and have failed. All I know is that the signal is coming from the center of the store near the escalator, but we rode to the top and back down Saturday and never found it. I have heard that at Esplanade, you can get Macy’s while you are in Old Navy! Weird!
Finally, you can refer friends. You get 50% of what they earn in their first two weeks. So, if they aren’t going to do it, you aren’t going to get much out of them. But, my motto in all things “FREE AND COUPONS” is – Every Little Bit Helps! The links in this post are my referral links and I would LOVE for you to use them to sign up! Try it out! You just might like it!
So, that’s a VERY long, VERY detailed explanation of this program. It was very frustrating to me at first! But, now that I understand it, I love it! My kids love to pop the bubbles and help me scan stuff in the stores. So, they don’t mind hanging out in the store for a little longer. (Plus, when they realize what this all means – “DISNEY WORLD”, they will probably mind even less!) You can read how I am using this to offset the costs of my Disney Trip HERE.