A new San Francisco based start-up called Shopkick launched yesterday with a unique new shopping service that allows iPhone users to receive ‘kickbucks’. The new services involves some major retailers like Best Buy, Macy’s and others and provides a way for Shopkick users to receive rewards for just going into a store. The stores will have a device that connects to your iPhone that will record your visit and apply the rewards automatically. In addition iPhone users can take pictures of bar codes of items from their iPhone and receive additional rewards or cost saving discounts.

In a recent article it states that:

Kickbucks, in turn, can be redeemed for Facebook credits to play games online, song downloads, in-store gift cards, and other standard online rewards club stuff like magazine subscriptions or donations to charities.

So basically Kickbucks is creating a rewards system; a portfolio of your shopping habits and the merchandise you find interesting enough to scan — so it can potentially target you better with deals; and a virtual currency that can be redeemed for goods in the future.

Will it take off?

We’re not sure how the rewards structure will look, which could play a big role. If it’s a ripoff — lots of activity required for lame rewards, it will get boring really quickly.

I think there are two issues that may limit participation into the program. First, the service is limited to iPhone users. While this will work great in the Bay Area where there is a large concentration of iPhone users, it is still limited. Second is the limitation of participating retailers. If Shopkick can expand their service to other phones like those using Droid and expand their base of participating retailers, Shopkick could take off with a bang.

What do you think?

Comments welcome.

Source – Silicon Alley Insider – Business Insider