Retail LBS: From Check-in to Checkout, and Beyond

September 10th, 2010 by Asif Leave a reply »

Retailers and brands everywhere are experimenting with the onslaught of location-based services like Foursquare, Gowalla and Loopt to deliver coupons and other offers to their customers.

The big challenge however, is that most of the leading providers in the space are treating all customers the same.  People visiting a store are given the same reward that long-time, loyal fans are.

Two recent studies have pegged adoption rates of location-based services as relatively low.

One released earlier this week from Myxer suggests 11% of folks are using LBS, while that’s up from the 4% reported by Forrester in July, the numbers are still indicative of early adopters only.

Perhaps these low adoption rates stem from a mis-understanding of the market demand.  Customers don’t just want coupons and deals – they want Value and Relevance.

Technology providers targeting these retailers should give consideration to the old mantra of service first.  Get them there with a deal, make the deal valuable and relevant, and then provide support and service after they leave so that they come back again.

It’s experiential marketing 101.  A good example of this is the recent investment by Pepsi in TableTop Media.  The company uses a ZioskÔseven-inch wireless touch screen device (think smaller iPad) to provide restaurant guest with interactive and convenient ordering and checkout experience.

The next phase of location-based marketing and greater relevance will come from the use past histories of web traffic to serve up ads. In an article called, Seeing that Ad on Every Site? You’re Right. It’s Tracking You, we can begin to see how brands might start to use past check-ins as a way to offer specials based on where you’ve been.

For example, if you have been at a bar on Friday night, you could be served an ad or pushed an SMS telling you there is a Wednesday night happy hour or no cover as a new club next week.  Simply by knowing where you’ve been, brands can serve you the ad the minute they believe it will be the most impactful.


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