Target shopkick

Shopkick CEO and co-founder, Cyriac Roeding, recently stopped by Target headquarters to talk to team members about his industry-changing app and what’s next in the technology space.

In 2008, the inspiring entrepreneur took a trip around the world to see how people were using mobile phones. He found that people everywhere, from New York City to the Himalayan Mountains, were using phones in nearly every aspect of their daily lives. Cyriac found one large gap though, which he quickly began to fill—shopping and the retail space.

There are some things that people love about a little retail therapy, like the thrill of finding something on sale and in your size (double whammy!). But Cyriac still saw room for improvement in how shoppers interacted with stores and vice versa.

That’s why he created shopkick, the app that rewards you for simply walking into a store with your smartphone in hand, with points called “kicks”—a reason why both shoppers and stores, including Target, eagerly signed up. Since launching the app in August 2010, more than 5 million people have used the app.

“The smartphone is the only interactive medium that we carry with us in a non-interactive, physical environment, like a store,” says Cyriac. “We can make the physical, touchable world—the offline world—an interactive place. We can welcome a person right when they walk into a store, thanking them for being our guest with a small reward and then guide them through the store. It is a fundamentally different experience.”

The offline and online worlds will continue to collide as technology in the retail landscape evolves.

“The computing power of phones will increase in the next five years. A phone’s power and battery life will be more than 10 times higher than today,” says Cyriac. “That ability and power will lead to new phones with visual product and face recognition. It will be very interesting. We are just beginning an incredible journey that will transform retail more profoundly in the next five years than the last 50 to 100 years.”

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