Wouldn’t it be cool if you could check-in at online retailers, both large and small, on FourSquare? Currently, to my knowledge, both FourSquare and Yelp only work for brick-and-mortar businesses. I love both Yelp & FourSquare, and think they are both really beneficial online tools for small businesses. The other day we wrote about FourSquare Mayor Promotions for Small Businesses. As a way to promote certain Catalyst Marketers blog posts, we start discussions in LinkedIn Groups around the topic of the blog post. During a recent LinkedIn discussion about FourSquare, the idea of FourSquare for online businesses was born.
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Think about it for a minute. You probably purchase online products and services all the time, right? Just as you purchase products & services from brick-and-mortar businesses. As you shop for products and services online, you probably stop in at a few different online retailers while you’re researching the product. You’re running your ONLINE errands. When you run your real world errands, you can check-in on FourSquare at all of the brick-and-mortar retail locations that you visit throughout the day. Those businesses benefit greatly from you spreading the word to your followers that you’re visiting their business. Well, why can’t e-commerce businesses receive the same benefits?
What if FourSquare offered code for online businesses to serve up on their e-commerce website. The code would display a “Check-In on FourSquare” button on every page of the e-commerce site – think ReTweet button for Twitter. Now, whenever a consumer lands on a page within a website that she wants to share with her network, she can simply Check-In at the Website by clicking the FourSquare Check-In button. The code, like the ReTweet code for Twitter, would be open to large e-tailers like Amazon all the way to small blogs and e-commerce sites.
The idea benefits everyone. Consumers and fans of FourSquare now get to use FourSquare in a whole new way. Who knows, this may open up even more cool special savings opportunities to consumers through those online businesses who integrate with FourSquare. Just as brick-and-mortar businesses are offering specials to the FourSquare Mayor of their small business, online retailers can do the same OR come up with different ways to entice consumers to check-in on their website.
FourSquare would benefit as now user’s can use FourSquare both online and in the real world. Time spent on FourSquare by current users will increase, and new user’s may take notice. Some people don’t like pulling out their phones and checking-in at local businesses while they are out, but if they can simply click a button on the website that they are on, they may be more inclined to participate.
Online retailers are now able to capitalize on the same FourSquare benefits as brick-and-mortar businesses. By placing the FourSquare Check-In button on their site, they allow consumers to market their product and services for them. If those products and services are remarkable, then consumers are happy to spread the word to their friends.
This doesn’t have to apply solely to e-commerce sites. I’d love to have a “Check-In on FourSquare” button on the Catalyst Marketers blog. Whenever a reader lands on a post, he/she can Check-In on FourSquare at the Catalyst Marketers blog. FourSquare’s code should capture the URL that the user is currently on when he Checks-In and then FourSquare should display that URL in the alert that’s sent out to the user’s followers. This function has the ability to drive a ton of traffic to the Catalyst Marketers blog as our site is now getting in front of the user’s FourSquare networks, as well as, possibly his Facebook & Twitter networks. That’s pretty powerful, right?
What problems do you see with this idea? How can those problems be overcome to make this happen?