This school year, retailers want customer check-ins before checking out

This school year, retailers want customer check-ins before checking out

August 15th, 2013

By Jay Keller

When it comes to social media visibility in the retail marketplace, especially in the bricks-and-mortar storefronts, Facebook and Twitter are what most customers see at many merchant’s checkout counters.foursquare-store-advert

But not all merchants are simply sticking to Tweets, likes and shares as some retailers have used the Back-to-school shopping season to encourage customers to check in as much as check out.

Facebook and Twitter both share some functionality around location-based, social-media interactivity but Foursquare still remains the app known most commonly by customers for “check-in” social media.

Foursquare is a free app which the company says helps “you and your friends make the most of where you are” to share and save places visited while out and about.

But, it’s the personalized deals and recommendations that appeal to both customers and merchants alike, especially since Foursquare creates an environment that can cater to particular tastes, styles and habits.

What’s more is that Foursquare has added this year mobile ad delivery after consumers check-in on location along with connections to the Foursquare Back-to-School badge that can be earned through a check-in at various campus spots.

Countless retailers, both large and small, are flooding Foursquare with discounts and coupons earned through check-ins at storefronts as students return to classes.

A few big-name merchants like Addidas, JCPenney and Best Buy are tapping into Foursquare and other location-based social-media networks like ShopKick and Yelp during back-to-school season as well.

Recently, the location-based social network examined which days the most people checked-in at stores with Foursquare during the traditional back-to-school season in 2012 to find that the top five busiest days to be: Aug. 18, Aug. 11, Aug. 4, Sept. 2 and Aug. 25.

This type of data represents a gold strike to advertisers since it shows potential for driving new customers into stores.

Whether it be online or on location, mobile shopping will continue to evolve and the future role of check-in giveaways is likely to play a larger role in future retail holidays.

But how important a role the check-in will play isn’t completely clear just yet as merchants continue to watch and see how customers react to new things in the ever-evolving mobile space.