Marketers take notice: Foursquare is in it to win it.
And by win it, I mean it appears as if they’ve decided that it’s finally time to earn some revenue. You know… something that all companies, social networking startups included, eventually have to get around to (a friendly reminder to the aspiring Pinterest and Quora copycats of the world).
Bravo Foursquare. It’s about time.
I always knew you’d find a way.
Earlier this week news broke that the company is currently knee deep in the process of preparing a redesigned version of its popular app, to be released sometime in July, that will include personalized coupons. These coupons, along with other upcoming features, are designed as a means to foster loyalty between customers and venues, which in turn translates to repeat visits and increased revenue for brick and mortar business owners. It’s the same Foursquare that users have come to know and love (check-ins, mayorships, and badges are still in play), with a new Groupon-like spin added on.
Although coupons may be new territory for Foursquare, specials have been around in one form or another for years. Merchants have always had the opportunity to offer incentives and discounts, so long as a person was willing to show up and check in to redeem the special and provided that the business was officially registered with Foursquare. In the near future though, coupons are going to be given preferential placement within the Foursquare app, perhaps as part of a larger effort to lure those who are out and about to visit a new venue for the first time.
It’s still up in the air as to how many of Foursquare’s 750,000 registered merchants will actually pay for promoted coupon specials and what the cost or percentage per transaction will end up being to do so, but nonetheless having a coupon arrangement in place still works out as an enticing win-win-win value prop for venue, Foursquare, and consumer. Business owners, especially those in high traffic metropolitan areas, have little to lose by incentivizing customers to check in. The data that comes along with being a verified merchant, such as frequency of check in and a better picture of who the best customers are, has high value on its own – regardless of how check ins might help the bottom line.
This news is the second revenue positive announcement of the month, considering that Foursquare is also now letting businesses sign up for a merchant account with instant verification for a onetime $10 fee.