Many of you use or have heard about mobile check-in applications such as Foursquare and Gowalla (the two most popular)
I am a user and have also been reading many posts about the subject. It feels like the next big thing, every other mainstream tool wants to integrate with geolocation but the truth is that the purpose behind checking-in is merely “fun” at the moment.
Loz from Simply Zesty wrote last year about the boring Foursquare “free coffee” wave and sites like Techcrunch have added some value trying to uncover the future of this service throwing 100 integration ideas.
I am very practical, the way I see (and hopefully many people too) deep value in any check-in service is when, “besides fun”, I could actually complement daily activities. Here are five examples:
What about arriving at reception, checking-in through my mobile and getting a confirmation (through the same app or email), including an estimated waiting time to be seen by the doctor?
Replicating the web experience
You walk into a shop anywhere in the world and you like what you see. Then you would check-in and the app would prompt you with the question: Would you like to receive email updates from X shop?
This is a magnificent way to increase a business’ email database offline! Imagine the amount of people that maybe would have never interacted with the person behind the counter but simply stepped in/out and left their email address?
I would checking-in at the petrol station of choice (That instantly gives me extra points to redeem on petrol or other prizes). Then the application would ask me how many litres of petrol will I purchase? The transaction is fulfilled through Paypal or any secure payment app and a code will be instantly generated to enter at the pump.
This is a great idea for the “check-in” app to monetise through a small percentage of the transaction.
Fast food restaurant
Upon arrival I check-in and the app would show me the deals of the day. If I choose to buy though the app, I would of course collect unique points towards free food or other prizes and will get the meal at a discounted price.
Again, another way for the application to monetise through transactions.
There’s also value for checking out in specific locations/activities/events. The obvious advantage is that the application could give you the option to complete a very quick, multiple-choice, survey (The company could give away cool incentives in exchange). Also, the organiser could clearly measure the length of time that a person spent at that event/activity, like a website!
What do you think about these ideas? How would you use mobile check-in to your advantage? What opportunity do you see in mobile check-in as a manager/business owner?
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