Reflections on location-based services

23 Sep

Why do or why should consumers value location-based or “check-in” services?

  1. It’s a quick and easy way to meet up with your friends.
  2. The game aspect of it is fun.
  3. Love knowing what friends are up to and where they are.
  4. It’s yet another piece of context for us to use when talking to our friends.  If I know that you were at a great Mexican place yesterday, I can ask you about it and you don’t even have to tell me that you were there.
  5. Tangentially, eliminates the “what have you been up to question” so that we can get straight to what is your opinion of X, Y, Z place.  It’s a good place to begin a conversation.
  6. Love knowing what complete strangers think of a place.  Plus its cool to know how recent their opinion actually is.  For example, I love telling Gowalla what my favorite food at a restaurant was.
  7. Rewards.  There’s little reason why you can’t set up a system that allows restaurants to give rewards to peopel that actually spend money at an establishment.  But its not clear why any electronic rewards program is better than the paper stamp card.  Sure electronic is two-way, so now the business can actually keep up with their customers and vice versa, but seems like a lot of transaction cost.

So, let’s ask a tougher question, why do or why should local businesses love location-based services?  What’s in it for them?

  1. Customer feedback.  This is available through Yelp alone but maybe you can learn something about your business if the last 20 people to have been there have raved about the chocolate mousse or complained about the lemon bar.
  2. Know your most frequent customers.   Maybe give them rewards based on what they spend, but this requires linking up their purchase history with every specific store.
  3. Lure in addiitonal customers with discounts or just by letting them know what you have to offer.
  4. Lure in additional customers based on what friends think about your establishment.
  5. Lure in additional customers and the friends they have with them, this is what is aiming to do.
  6. It could help them build community by advertising events to people that are around the physical location.

One Response to “Reflections on location-based services”

  1. June November 11, 2010 at 11:35 pm #

    Hey, your blog is still pink. I also wanted to tell you that I met this part-hipster-part-biker dude who is part of

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