Social Media Commerce: Customer Check In by Mobile App - dummies

Social Media Commerce: Customer Check In by Mobile App

By Marsha Collier

Some social media apps reward their users for checking in from smartphones as they go from place to place in the bricks-and-mortar world. This mobile check-in activity is popular with those who connect online. You can encourage people to check in at your place of business.

The current leader in the market is Foursquare, a social geolocation-based application that allows users to check in when they arrive at almost any location. Currently, more than 20 million people use Foursquare, so if you have a retail location, odds are some of your customers are checking in.

You can check in to Foursquare on a plane (with a flight number), at a restaurant, at a bank, in the doctor’s office . . . pretty much from everywhere. Get the word out to your customers!

When users arrive at a location and check in, their friends may be notified of their location (based on the individual user’s privacy settings). Repeat visits earn users badges of honor (in the figure, see a customer’s badge for visiting three bakeries) and place them higher in an internal ranking system.


Foursquare allows the user to become the Mayor of a business or spot she frequents by being the person who checks in at a single location most often. This high status is coveted by participants. When someone gets ousted, a scramble sometimes ensues to be reinstated by making another visit.

All this activity occurs using a game mechanism: Users earn points, get discounts, win Mayorships, and unlock badges for trying new places and revisiting old favorites.