If you’ve been around Touch Marketing for any length of time, whether it’s been a bootcamp, a webinar series, or coaching, you’ve probably heard us speak of location based services. Mobile apps like Foursquare, Gowalla, and most recently Facebook Places, are opening up a whole new arena for businesses to connect with customers.
Touch Marketing is also a fan of Yelp, a review and recommendation site based on real local-user reviews. Yelp has a mobile phone apps for most smartphones, and contributes 30% of their traffic to smartphone users. Yelp has also just introduced a “check-in” feature to their offerings. Do you currently use Yelp? Read on to see what Mashable‘s Jennifer Van Grove has said about the new Yelp checkin feature, then let us know what you think. Can you see the potential value in this for your business?
Do you like this story?
Foursquare may have pioneered the idea of rewards and specials associated with checkins, but everyone from Facebook to SCVNGR has followed suit. Today, Yelp joins the fray, giving business owners the ability to add “Check-in Offers” to their venues.
With Yelp Check-in Offers, business owners can incentivize repeat checkins and reward patrons with three different offer types: percent off, free or fixed price offers.
Businesses are able to offer one check-in special at a time, and patrons can redeem earned rewards by presenting a special mobile certificate showing they’ve unlocked a particular offer (as seen below).
Yelp business owners can navigate to the “Offers” portion of their business dashboard to specify offer type and checkin terms — a 25% off discount for three checkins, for instance. Patrons can work to achieve an offer with each venue checkin via the just updated Yelp iPhone (awaiting approval) and Android apps. After redemption, users can start earning the offer again. The approach is not dissimilar to SCVNGR’s system for unlocking rewards.
Offers are certainly nothing new in today’s location-based mobile app landscape, but Eric Singley, Yelp’s director of mobile and consumer products, believes the company has a unique opportunity to marry the venue search intentions of application users with offers that influence behavior.
“Thirty percent of all Yelp search traffic is happening on our mobile apps, which means people are using the Yelp apps to search for businesses around them … [the apps] are an opportunity for businesses to get in front of users, and checkin offers can help influence their decisions,” he says.
Check-in Offers were introduced, for business users, in last week’s revamped Yelp for Business Owners release. The update brings with it new navigation, the ability to manage multiple business listings and additional mobile tracking and analytics, including stats around redeemed offers.
It should be interesting to track how both business owners and application users respond to the addition of offers. Currently, Yelp reports that — on average — checkins have grown 50% month over month. While the metric doesn’t tell us much about the overall adoption of checkin features — and Yelp won’t share specifics — it does indicate that interest is growing amongst Yelp’s mobile user base.