Best Practice Report

Do Check-Ins Really Drive Checkouts?

Check-Ins Alone . . . No. But When Combined With Compelling Offers . . . Yes.

August 8th, 2011
AH
Andy Hoar
With contributors:
Patti Freeman Evans , Douglas Roberge , Amelia Martland

Summary

Although currently used by only 5% of US online adults who own cell phones, services that allow consumers to "check in" on their mobile phones at retail locations are used by 11% of US online smartphone owners. Services such as Facebook Places and foursquare presently count more than 10 million mobile users, and newer entrants such as CheckPoints and shopkick this year eclipsed the 1 million user mark. In some cases, these services have shown early success using targeted offers to drive in-store leads and product trials. However, most check-in services have not generated tremendous transaction activity and have yet to prove themselves as viable customer loyalty tools. We'll need to wait for "check-ins 2.0," with more and better offers and a refined closed-loop buying process, to deliver more fully on those goals. However, eBusiness professionals responsible for mobile channels should start experimenting with existing "check-ins 1.0" functionality as a means to reach a persuadable in-store audience and enhance existing loyalty strategies.

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