Expecting Something in Return for Your Check-in Efforts?

Posted: August 24, 2010 in Advertising & Marketing, Mobile, Social Media & Networking, Technology

The card-based loyalty program might just be going the way of the dinosaur … or the two-way pager.

The newest crop of location-based mobile apps rewards consumers for actions before they reach the register, and it could save them from fumbling for cards in wallets or loading down their key rings with plastic tabs. Mobile apps like Shopkick, Loopt Star and CheckPoints offer shoppers discounts and deals when they check in, walk into a store or pick up products and scan their barcodes. One startup focusing on loyalty programs for hotels, Topguest, even rewards users for tweeting.

“We realized a while ago that the conversations about our hotels are happening on Facebook or Twitter without us,” said Michael Doneff, VP-marketing for Viceroy Hotel Group, which offers discounts to users who check in at its hotels through Topguest. “These are guests who are passionate about our properties; why wouldn’t we want to reward that?”

This set of loyalty apps also takes the check-in-to-places phenomenon that Foursquare has popularized right to the mall or grocery aisle. Rather than checking in to alert your social network or post to Facebook, users can check in for discounts to use at the register or for points that add up to gift cards, prizes or donations. (get the rest of the story)

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