Checking In with Mobile Barcodes

As more and more apps hit the smartphone market, there seems to be a trend amongst them—location. Apps such as Foursquare, Facebook Places, GoWalla and so many more offer location-based services, yet only about 4% of Americans have actually used location-based services, and of those, only 1% actually “check-in” weekly.

However, studies have shown that in order to get users to “check-in” incentives need to be offered. The future of location-based apps is mobile coupons. In 2009, over 50% of consumers used their mobile device for in-store holiday shopping and 64% of consumers (18-34) used their device for shopping. By offering special location-based deals, consumers get an incentive, and marketers get their valuable data.

In addition, I think that 2D barcodes could play a big role in location-based services. Imagine walking into a store and simply being able to scan a barcode to check-in, and then having a coupon for that store appear on your mobile device!
Once you’ve checked into certain places, it could lead to other deals via e-mail or SMS to encourage consumers to come back.

The combination of location-based services with 2D barcodes seems like a win-win situation for consumers and marketers alike. How would you feel about using location-based services to receive custom deals? Too big brother, or the perfect amount of personalization?

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