Shopkick's 3-Million Milestone: Not Quite As Good As It Sounds

Retail check-in services have reached a sort of milestone. On Tuesday (Feb. 8), Shopkick announced that its users have used their smartphones to scan more than 3 million products at 250,000 retailers since the app became available less than a year ago. Shopkick also says at least 10 percent of its 750,000 users actually do a check-in on any given day. No question, there are lots of zeroes in those numbers—it's clear that somebody out there is interested in scanning products for loyalty points, along with checking in at Best Buy, Macy's, Sports Authority, Target, Crate & Barrel and other big retail chains.

Then again, a little math makes it all sound less impressive. Three million products scanned at 250,000 stores is an average of 12 products per store over a five-month period. That's not exactly a viral phenomenon. And 10 percent of 750,000 users means about 75,000 people per day are using the app across the U.S. That's a start. But at this rate, it's going to take a lot more zeroes before check-in is something most retailers can't afford not to check out.