Shopkick rides surge in shopping with cell phones

Holiday shoppers whipped out their mobile phones to help them find the best deals, in yet another sign of how the cell phone is becoming more and more of a shopping and e-commerce tool.

More than half of U.S. cell phone owners said they used their phones at least once during the holiday shopping season, using it to call a friend for shopping advice, to look up product reviews while they were in the store or to check for better prices elsewhere, the Pew Internet & American Life Project said in a report.

Among shopping apps, Palo Alto’s Shopkick announced Tuesday that its smart-phone app drove $110 million in revenue to its retail partners, such as Target, Old Navy and Toys R us. the app encourages shoppers to go into stores by rewarding them once they’re inside, giving them points that they can redeem for goodies such as iTunes gift cards and Facebook Credits. it also gives its 3 million users points for finding and scanning products in the store.

It calculated the $110 million figure by factoring in the number of shoppers that went into the store, scanned a product and purchased it or took advantage of special offers and deals in the app.

During the holidays, Shopkick users saw 1 billion deals in the app, walked into 5 million stores and scanned 10 million products, the startup said.

Yukking it up: One of the projects at Twitter’s “Hack Week” last week was to come up with the best worst job recruiting video of all time. they succeeded. the “At Twitter, the Future is You!” video is so corny, it’s hilarious. And since Friday, it’s received more than a half million plays on YouTube.

But we couldn’t help noticing Twitter’s video bears a resemblance to a “Saturday Night Live” skit called “Laser Cats,” with SNL Producer Lorne Michaels playing the big boss in the same deadpan style as Twitter CEO Dick Costolo, who used to be a stand-up comic.

This article appeared on page D – 5 of the San Francisco Chronicle

Shopkick rides surge in shopping with cell phones

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