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Micro Center Rolling Out Beacons At All 25 Locations

The 38-year-old electronics chain is using Shopkick's rewards program to drive more loyalty at local Micro Center outlets.

After months of testing the app-based, beacon-trigged rewards program from Shopkick, electronics chain Micro Center is expanding the effort to all its 25 U.S. stores across 16 states.

In terms of its marketing profile, the privately-held Hilliard, Ohio retailer is generally known for its cautious approach compared to larger publicly-traded rivals like Best Buy, which has roughly 2,000 global outlets.

That difference in footprint is a point of pride for Micro Center CEO Rick Mershad.

“We don’t move fast,” Mershad told BizJournals in 2014 as the company was embarking on a major expansion: the opening of two stores in New York. “Our site selection is very precise and methodical. We can spend years studying a market…We never over-expanded and we’ve never had to contract.”

Micro Center declined to comment on its work with Shopkick, citing competitive concerns about revealing its plans to expand its use of the beacon program.

Shopkick also works with Best Buy as well as American Eagle Outfitters, Macy’s, Marshalls, TJ Maxx, and others. Its rewards app downloaded by  23 million consumers, who earn “kicks” — as the Shopkick’s beacon-activated app rewards are called — that can be redeemed for discounts at retailers.

Unlike shoppers at department stores and chain boutiques, Micro Center customers tend to be affluent and technologically savvy — i.e., the kind of consumer who would tend to be somewhat aware of Bluetooth powered beacons, but not necessarily attracted to discounted loyalty points.

Still, the main impetus for shopping at Micro Center, as opposed to a more mass market electronics chain, is to focus on productivity versus entertainment or novelty.

By helping those consumers find the exact product they need, as opposed to being spurred by a coupon, Shopkick could help improve the Micro Center in-store experience by acting as a virtual customer service assistant.

“Micro Center has always been on the cutting edge of both its own technology and the technology it sells to its customers,” said Bill Demas, Shopkick’s CEO. “Now, we can help Micro Center extend its brand to our millions of engaged shoppers, creating a relationship that extends outside of its physical stores.”

 

About The Author
David Kaplan David Kaplan @davidakaplan

A New York City-based journalist for over 20 years, David Kaplan is managing editor of GeoMarketing.com. A former editor and reporter at AdExchanger, paidContent, Adweek and MediaPost.