Retail Shops Must Use Foursquare

Posted by David Chism | Thu, Jul 28, 2011

 Retail Shops Must Use Foursquare
In these days of blind­ing-speed tech­no­log­i­cal advances, it doesn’t take an old per­son to be able to say, why, back in my day, we didn’t have any of those… (fill in the blank).” Remem­ber flop­py disks? How about rotary phones? Well, anoth­er com­mon busi­ness con­cept is begin­ning to be rev­o­lu­tion­ized thanks to smart phones: cus­tomer loy­al­ty punch-cards. Google Places, Face­book Places and Gowal­la are all grow­ing in pop­u­lar­i­ty as a way that friends can let each oth­er know where they are, and busi­ness­es can cap­i­tal­ize on this trend. My focus today is on Foursquare, which I would argue is essen­tial for any mod­ern retail shop, whether it is a store or a restau­rant. In a world where cus­tomers have lim­it­less choic­es, Foursquare can be used in cre­ative and effec­tive ways to bring cus­tomers back to your busi­ness. Foursquare is a social tool that allows users to check in” to a store or restau­rant, let­ting their con­tacts know where they are. Users can com­pete to become the May­or” of a loca­tion by hav­ing the most check­ins, and they can also upload com­ments, pho­tos, com­ments and tips. From the cus­tomer end, there are many ways this is easy and fun. Busi­ness own­ers can view the check ins and see who is com­ing in, and how fre­quent­ly. This is a great tool for savvy com­pa­nies to reward their faith­ful cus­tomers and show them appre­ci­a­tion so that they keep com­ing back. Treat your May­or” like roy­al­ty, and offer your reg­u­lars some kind of dis­count or spe­cial to keep them com­ing back. Use it like a punch­card, and give cus­tomers some kind of free­bie for their 5th (or 8th, or 12th) checkin. My Yogurt Story In the last few months, no less than three self-serve frozen yogurt shops have opened in my area. The weath­er has been per­fect for them here in the DC and Mary­land area, dri­ving the crowds indoors look­ing for some­thing sweet and cool. But what will they do in a few months when the out­door temps cool and peo­ple start head­ing for warm drinks? Foursquare seems to me to be a great resource for this. I recent­ly vis­it­ed one of these shops and hap­pened to meet the own­er. The whole expe­ri­ence was very pos­i­tive (though the yogurt was a bit pricey) and I spent a lot of the time watch­ing the cus­tomers and employ­ees. Try­ing to see how they entice return cuc­tomers, I noticed the employ­ees giv­ing every­one the same line: Thanks for com­ing in. Please do come again!” It’s not bad… but it’s not great. I approached the own­er and asked him if he had heard of Foursquare. He hadn’t. I explained what it is and how he could use it for cus­tomer loy­al­ty, and I couldn’t believe his response! He looked at me as if I had sug­gest­ed dress­ing his employ­ees like clowns, and said, I don’t think that’s a good idea. I have too many things going on right now. And besides, most of the peo­ple walk­ing in here don’t use Smart­phones. But thanks any­ways.” I frowned, walked back to my seat and con­tin­ued to study the yogurt cus­tomers as they bought and ate their yogurts. With no exag­ger­a­tion, I tell you that near­ly every adult who entered the shop had and used a Smart­phone dur­ing the time I was watch­ing. As Smart­phones grow in abil­i­ty and drop in price, young peo­ple and adults of all ages are car­ry­ing these devices and using Foursquare or sim­i­lar apps. What do you think? Do you agree with this? Do you use Foursquare? What expe­ri­ences with Foursquare or sim­i­lar pro­grams do you have? P.S. If you need help dis­cov­er­ing the poten­tial of Foursquare and how to use it, check out Foursquare101.

About David Chism

David Chism started his business out of a passion for helping small contracting businesses grow, be more profitable and become better known to their target clients. One lifelong hobby of David is using techie gadgets. So this blog is a place where he writes about technology, marketing ideas, just for fun (humor), personal thoughts on small business and more.


Subscribe to the Blog

Please provide a short summary of why you are reaching out today.