Home' LAPTOP Magazine : January 2011 Contents Laptop | January 2011
tech to watch
What Is It?
This is part of the future we were promised. Walk into the mall
and instantly see all of the coupons and discounts available to
you. Try out the new Italian place in your neighborhood and
get $30 off your bill because 500 people also signed up for
this restau ra nt’s coupon.
Sites a nd mobile apps such as Facebook Places, Groupon,
and Shopkick are rapidly replacing brightly colored mailers
filled with coupons for 25-percent-off V-neck sweaters a nd
$10 buckets of chicken. Now you can stop by the Gap, check
in using Facebook Places on your phone, and receive an in-
stantly redeemable coupon for 20-percent-off a pair of jeans.
Individual stores are getting in on the action as well. Target
and Walmart have iOS apps that include deals
of the day and other discounts.
Why It’s Important
In the past, the best place to find coupons was
the daily newspaper or weekly savings mailer.
However, as newspapers have taken a back
seat to news sites, local coupon s and news
of “grand openings” in neighborhoods have
become scarce. According to A nd rew Lips-
man, director ofindustry analysis at comScore,
location-based deal site Groupon has helped
fill this void.
“Part of why it’s been so successful is that,
in a way, it’s a digital clearing house
for promotions that were happen-
ing in the offline world, but in a
much more disaggregated way,”
said Lipsman. “ T here’s something
compelling about deals that are
going to be relevant to you within
your immediate geography.”
In two years, Groupon has
expanded to include more than 300 markets worldwide.
Using your city, the site offers you deals on local restaurants,
salons, stores, and even experiences; a recent Chicago
Groupon offered a private lesson at the Chicago W hite Sox/
Bulls training academy for $25. In an effort to make coupon
redemption easier, the company launched a mobile app for
merchants that allows them to process coupons using an
A ndroid phone.
Shopkick and Facebook Places use other location-based
methods to offer you deals. Shopkick reward s you with “kick-
bucks” just for walking into major retailers such as Best Buy
and Macy’s. While Facebook Places requires you to check
in to redeem a deal, Shopkick has transmitters deployed in
stores that detect the app on an iPhone and give you rewards
automatically. Kickbucks can be used to make charitable
donations or redeemed for in-store coupons.
hoW It WIll Change your lIfe
Location-based deals can save you money and time while
potentially turning you on to a new place. Mobile deals also
save you money at chain stores and often allow you to opt out
of store-specific e-mail lists. Forinstance, Target’s iPhone app
includes several daily deals that are available i n-store, onli ne,
or both. To attract new business, some deals are restricted to
new customers on ly.
While location-based deals are on the verge of taking off and
programs such as Groupon are already successful, there’s
more to it than location-detecting technolog y and easier
coupon redemption —there’s also your response to it. Ray
Valdes, research vice president at Gartner, suggests that
consumer behavior and even the economy could deter mine
the success of mobile deals. “ There are some people who are
interested in coupons and deals, and even interested in just
the excitement of the deal, not so much even the savings—
although in this economy everyone’s interested
Location-baseddeals willhitthe mainstream once
two things happen. Checking in needs to become
even easier; apps should even be able to check you
in automatically (with privacy controls). Second,
when deals find you, they need to be relevant to your
lifestyle. Facebook has a head start with information
aboutyourfriends, interests, andfrequentlocations,
so integrating your shopping preferences shouldn’t
be far off.
Shopkick CEO Cy riac Roed ing believes the
location-based deals market will blow wide open
as a result of the rise in smart phone adoption. He
says that by the end of next year, every second
American will have a smart phone. “A nd where do
consumers need better i nformation a nd interactive
services in the physical world?” asked Roeding.
“When they are out shopping. The future of online
is in offline.”
Deals That Find You
Location-based offers come to your phone
faCebook plaCes app
Links Archive February 2011 December 2010 Navigation Previous Page Next Page