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Launch of In-Store Shopping Discoveries

Today we are taking another step to bring the online and in-store shopping experiences closer together with the launch of in-store shopping discoveries. Simple and easy to use, if you have an Android phone, Kickscout will recognize when you are out shopping and use your phone’s location to give you nearby shopping opportunities based on products you kicked to your account.  Kickscout will be proactive and let you know of products that may be for sale in stores nearby that you may have forgotten you discovered online.

We think this is the future of all apps, and we are proud to bring you this luxury first.  You are busy and shouldn’t have to launch a new app for it to work. Apps should do the work for you and only give you proactive recommendations when you need them.  Kickscout will try to recognize when you are shopping and only let you know about these shopping opportunities when you want them.

This is the future of shopping, and we hope you like it.

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Thanks,

The Kickscout Team

Signup at Kickscout.com

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Our Vision

In a previous post, we discussed the reasons why we are working so hard on Kickscout, but we have been a little light on writing about our long term vision for Kickscout. Our product is really the final word on what we are building, but I think it makes sense to let you all in on where we are heading.

A Broken Shopping Experience

When searching for a product online, it takes all of a few seconds to search and find a product using Google search.  Curation sites like Pinterest even make it super easy to discover products that you never would have known to search for.  Those pins can even link you directly to a website for you to make the online purchase.

Unfortunately, left out of this experience is the actual behavior made by most shoppers. Brick and mortar retailers, local retailers and shopping plazas, need to be included because they are the place where 95% of all retail purchases take place.  Other stats show 99% of products looked at on ecommerce sites lead to purchases at local brick and mortar retailers.  So why aren’t the two experiences connected?  Well, they should be and that is where Kickscout comes in.

If a Google search can let you know if a website is likely to have the content you desire, then Kickscout can let you know if a local store has the products you desire.  You may discover the product on Pinterest, or searched for the item on Amazon, but Kickscout will let you know where these products can be purchased locally.

Works Everywhere

Our goal is to provide this service to you without you having to worry about which online retailers or local stores are partnering with us.  We are building Kickscout to work at every online retailer and every local store even if the store doesn’t know Kickscout exists.  A Google search can take you to a website that isn’t partnered with Google, so Kickscout should work the same way with online and local retailers.  It is Kickscout’s job to figure out where products are located, not the job of retailers and shop owners.  They have enough to do running their own businesses.

Works With You

When it comes to you, the shopper, you also have enough work to do. You have a busy life and you can’t be bothered with setting up or playing around with yet another app or website either.  This is also the job of Kickscout.  Over time, we want to work more and more in the background.  You may already be pinning products on Pinterest or saving products to a wishlist somewhere or maybe instead you just simply research products online and remember what you like.  That’s fine too. We aim to work with you as you search and discover the products you like.  We’ll work in the background and let you know where the products you love are located for you.  

Won’t Be Intrusive

You also get enough spam, notifications, and other daily distractions from every app and website out there.  We know, we get them too.  Our goal is to only notify you when and where you want to be notified.  Like when you are actually shopping and want help.

The Future

Our goal is to create the best shopping experience for YOU. You search, browse, and discover great products online but tend to purchase products locally too. You live a busy life and don’t have time to play around with another app and you certainly don’t want to be spammed all the time with deals you don’t care about. We see a clear path to building a service that can meet these needs and will work everywhere you like to shop. Kickscout will evolve over time into this vision, but we have made great strides already with our current offering.  We aren’t at our vision just yet, but we are working hard to make this vision a reality.  

We hope you like it,

The Kickscout Team

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Kickscout launch from Beta

Over the last 10 months we have been openly building Kickscout while allowing anyone to sign up. We used ZERO marketing to attract new users as we wanted only the true trendsetters to find us. We wanted to build the product you wanted. With your input, your thoughts and your ideas, we set our sights on making Kickscout the best shopping app ever. And it worked!

Today we are stepping out of beta with an official launch of Kickscout.

Kickscout is the first e-commerce site to combine the online and in-store shopping experiences. While some of you love to shop online, others love to shop in stores, and many love to do both, the one thing you all share is the desire to help each other discover great products and make great purchases online and in local retail stores. Kickscout now allows you to do just that.

Here’s how it works

Shop online
User profile of Kicked products screen shot
• Discover popular products a community of over 2,000 shoppers are sharing
• Save online products you love
• Refer, comment, and get opinions on products from your friends

Shop in stores
User Scouting product screen shot
• In-store discovery of the products you and friends saved online
• Get paid to shop for friends at local stores
• Save in-store products you love

 Buy anywhere
Kickscout Feed screen shot
• Buy products online
• Buy products in local stores

We are really excited about the product we have built and hope you are as well. As always, you can reach us via email at support@kickscout.com or on Facebook at facebook.com/kickscout.

Thanks,
The Kickscout Team
Kickscout-Shop as a team.

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 Kickscout.com

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A note from our founder. Why are we working on a “shopping” app?

“Retail guys are going to go out of business and ecommerce will become the place everyone buys. You are not going to have a choice.  We’re still pre-death of retail” - Marc Andreessen, source pandodaily

Over the last year, I have been asked a lot about why I’m starting Kickscout, a “shopping app" company.  On the surface, my personality and “shopping” don’t match. I wear cargo pants from 3 years ago. I wear t-shirts I got for free from tech conferences and old sport teams that I’ve collected over the years. I don’t know designers, brands, or even some of the most popular clothing stores. So, most people think “shopping” might not be the right problem for me to solve. I completely disagree.

Re-read the above quote by Marc Andreessen. Marc is a smart guy, and he is 100% right.  This is happening and when retail is gone, it will be gone for good. It won’t just be a few or a lot of retailers that will go out of business, it will be ALL of them. These companies’ infrastructure and supply chains are intertwined and rely on each other to keep costs down and service reliable. Once the big retail guys fall, everyone will else will too.
No more hands-on look and feel of the item before you buy it. No more in-person check for quality.  No more double checking that you are really purchasing the right thing.  No more help from a friendly store’s sales staff. No more excitement that comes from the hunt of getting out and really experiencing the purchase. Never again will shoppers experience the feeling of the walk out of the store with bags in hand and having that feeling of accomplishment. helping the local economy?  Forget it, your dollars will be sent to a corporate headquarters on the other side of the globe. We can’t let this get away from us.  Online shopping will never be the best experience for everyone.

You want to know why I’m working on this problem?  Because “shopping” is NOT just about fashion. The memories I have growing up are filled with trips to the store with my family. Trips into downtown Lowell, MA to visit my grandmother who worked at Jordan Marsh (once Bon Marché).
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Merrimack Street looking east, Lowell, Mass
I remember my whole family traveling to the opening of the Phesant Lane mall in Nashua, NH.  I remember weekly trips to the now out of business Capital Warehouse in Lowell which was probably a dollar store that came before dollar stores were popular.

These aren’t inconvenient trips to the store. These were moments where my family got to learn more about each other. We got to know each other better by taking the time to shop together. I got to watch how my parents interacted with sales staff with respect. I had to learn extreme patients as my brother tried on pants for what felt like an eternity.
As my son grows up, I want to make sure he also gets to experience these family moments as well. Online shopping doesn’t include ANY of these experiences. It scares me to think that this might all be coming to an end.

My wife and I recently took a trip up to the same mall my family went to over 27 years ago. in July 1986, when it opened. Times have changes and Jordan Marsh in downtown Lowell moved to the Mall and later became Macys. My grandmother, now 89 years old, still works there. We took this shot of my son and my grandmother at the store together.
 
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Macy’s at the Pheasant Lane mall, Nashua, NH

There isn’t an online site that can help you shop for cosmetics better than my grandmother.  She has been working sales at the store for 50 years. She even doubled as a buyer many years ago, back when sales staff were responsible for their own inventory (imagine that!). My grandmother, knows everyone. You can’t take her out to dinner without her knowing someone who purchased cosmetics from her or worked with her over the years. When we bring my son into the store, everyone comes over to see Janet’s great grandson. Co-workers, customers, managers all say “We hear so much about him”.  

These moments happened while shopping.  They even happen in large brick and mortar, big box, mall department stores. This photo contains so many emotions that I could never explain it in a blog post. This is so special!  We can’t lose this, and THAT is why I am working on this problem.
Michael Sheeley
Co-founder/CEO
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New Feature - Products Nearby

Today we are excited to offer you a new feature on Kickscout designed to better assist you with your shopping.  It is called “Products Nearby”.  

You know all those cool products you and your friends discover online? Now with Products Nearby, Kickscout lets you know which of those products you can shop for when you visit any mall, shopping plaza, or department store.  

Located in the side menu of the Kickscout app, Products Nearby identifies the store you are currently shopping at (or any stores closeby) and matches it up with the products you and your friends have Kicked online with Kickscout.

Now your online shopping is better connected to your in-store shopping.

Check it out. We hope you like it.

Enjoy,
The Kickscout team
Kickscout.com

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Exciting Kickscout News

Hi Kickscout shoppers!

Your community of shoppers is GROWING! We recently launched a new update to Kickscout making it possible for you and your friends to shop as a team online and in local stores. We’re thrilled to share that since the update, the number of Kickscout shoppers has doubled every month. Check out this chart showing your community’s growth!

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We know this is the start of something great. The more people who join the Kickscout community of shoppers, the more cool products you can discover on Kickscout. Thousands of products have been added and new products are being added each day.

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Let your friends in on the fun of shopping as a team.

Share Kickscout with friends on Facebook   

- Or -

Invite them directly

login to Kickscout.com and click the “Find Friends” button.image

Not bad considering Kickscout hasn’t officially launched out of beta yet. ;) That will be coming soon.

Enjoy!

The Kickscout Team

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Would you Kick, Scout, or Buy - Kick off

Today we are kicking off a new campaign on Kickscout called “Kick, Scout, or Buy”. We are doing this to highlight our most relevant and popular products as well as to highlight how Kickscout can help you shop for these items.

Here is how it works.  

We’ll post on our Twitter, Facebook, Google Plus, and Pinterest pages a popular product and ask if you would Kick, Scout, or Buy the product.

Kick if you want to share the online product with your friends

Scout if you want to share a hands-on in-store review of the product with your friends

Buy if you love the product so much you just want to buy it right away!

This should be fun! To kick off this campaign, we’ll start with one of our personal favorite brands The North Face.  So, here we go…

Would you Kick, Scout, or Buy this shweet North Face Hoodie?image

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Final stages of our beta - launch coming soon!

Hey Kickscout community!

We are excited to let our growing community of Kickscout users in on some exciting upcoming news. Kickscout is going to be coming out of beta soon! We have been quietly building Kickscout with your help over the last 8 months. During that time, we have evolved from an app that just takes pictures of products in stores (ha! remember those days?), into a complete online shopping site like none other. If fact, we believe, Kickscout is the first shopping website to combine in-store shopping with the online shopping experience.

Kickscout is shopping as a team. Kick products from online. Scout products in stores. Buy products from anywhere. All this in a fun, social, team shopping experience.

If you haven’t been to Kickscout.com in a while, we think you’ll be surprised at what you’ll see. Here is a sneak peek!

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We hope you enjoy the new Kickscout shopping experience. Login and see what we are talking about! Also, look for our upcoming launch announcement.  We owe this all to you!

Thank you,
The Kickscout team
Kickscout - Shop as a team
Kick. Scout. Buy.

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Happy New Year!

Thank you for a great 2012.  The Kickscout team wishes you and all of the Kickscout beta users a happy new year.  We are very thankful that you signed up for Kickscout beta and gave us the chance to hear from you.  We have been listening closely to your feedback and you can expect some big improvements in 2013.  

New look and feel to the Kickscout website and apps
Yep, we know.  The design of the website and apps is lacking so we brought in the professionals to redo everything.  This update is top priority and will roll-out first thing in 2013.

Web features to allow you to better shop for things you find online
Online shopping is just as important as in-store shopping.   Our goal is to create the best shopping experience period.  In-store shopping has a lot of benefits but also has its drawbacks and online shopping has its benefits and drawbacks as well.   We are aiming to create a shopping experience that combines the benefits of the two.

Social features that will allow you to shop as a team with your friends and family
Shopping is better when you have the opinions, insight, retail knowledge, and even the purchasing power of your friends and family with you as browse and decide which items you want to buy.  New Kickscout features will aim to allow you to benefit from your own personal network of shopping friends who can help.

Maybe even a new Kickscout logo too.
The Kickscout bee?  Yeah. It just doesn’t match what we do.  Well, it does if you make the connection of a scout bee.  Other than that, it’s image gets lost to those looking for a shopping app and website.  Expect to see something more relevant to what we offer.

We are very excited for 2013 and hope to continue working with you on making Kickscout the best mobile and online retail service for you. As always, let us know what you think at support@kickscout.com.


Happy Scouting!
The Kickscout Team

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Kickscout app user kicked out of Victoria’s Secret

The driving force behind building Kickscout is to get retail stores on an equal playing field to online ecommerce sites who can easily take advantage of the social sharing, affiliate networks, and content curation sites like Pinterest. Retail stores are threatened so much by these other shopping apps that we are hearing stories of Kickscout users being asked by retailers to stop using Kickscout in their stores. One of our users sent us an email about getting KICKED OUT of Victoria’s Secret.

got KICKED OUT of Victoria’s Secret tonight!!  The manager ACTUALLY demanded I DELETE the photo! That’s AFTER I explained what Kickscout could DO for her business…..

Sorry—- this is really frustrating when you’re trying to promote the business THEY ARE WORKING  FOR!!!! acccck!

Above is the Christmas Victoria’s Secret lingerie Jeanann was scouting for her friends while the store was kicking her out.

We reached back out to Jeanann to elaborate on why she felt so passionate about this, she replied:

Has anyone out there NOT heard countless stories about the “difficult retail environment” and the concerns over “4th quarter retail numbers missing the mark?” Add to that, the fact that many chains are feeling the economic pinch from the high expense of operating brick-and-mortar locations, and you’d think they would WELCOME a little assistance from a retail aid like my favorite new app “Kickscout!”

But no—- instead of appreciating the fact that I am trying to tempt my sister into buying the same Michael Kors handbag that I just snagged, or stimulate some interest in a giant “group gift” assortment of lingerie for a bridal shower, I am kicked out of the store after I refused to delete the photo I uploaded to Kickscout! Stop the insanity, retailers—- this is NUTS! If you want us to buy from you, stop being so paranoid about what technology can do TO you, and embrace what it can do FOR you!!

As an app developer, you’ve got to love passionate emails like this. This user understands the greater problem and our solution.  We understand her frustration as a user but also don’t blame retailers entirely for this.  From their standpoint, they are under attack.  Other shopping apps are designed to steal their customers away from them.  They probably assumed Kickscout was one of those apps.  This story just shows how much retailers fear the existing shopping apps. The impact to their business is real and the problem is great. It will take some time to educate these retailers that Kickscout is their friend but we are up for the challenge. We are here to help. All shopping can be fun and social, not just online shopping.

Happy Scouting,

The Kickscout Team

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