The three keys to retailing success are "location, location, location"--and that's the idea behind mobile apps that reward consumers for visiting stores when they're nearby.
Shopkick, for example, has created iPhone apps for Macy's, Best Buy, and other retail entities. As the above image shows, every time a consumer equipped with Shopkick enters a participating store, he or she is rewarded with "kickbucks" that can be used toward merchandise, plus exclusive price promotions to encourage shopping.
In this month's Stores magazine, Shopkick says its app can deliver physical store conversion rates from 20-95%. That's quite a kick, indeed.
Simon Malls, in partnership with Shopkick, now uses an iPhone app to direct shoppers to its local malls and help them find stores, special events, restaurants, etc. within particular malls.
Another way to look at Shopkick is that its mobile app helps to solve "the last inch problem"--namely, influencing consumer decisions at or near the point of purchase.