Through a special arrangement, presented here for discussion is a summary of a current article from the Retail TouchPoints website.
A recent Forrester Research survey indicated that 114 million U.S. smartphone users employ check-in services. Forrester predicts that number will grow to 159 million by 2015.
Since its inception in 2008, check-in technologies have continued to evolve. Developed to entice users into sharing location information, they have shifted focus to include customized offers based on purchase history and are moving to loyalty rewards, said Forrester's Senior Analyst Peter Sheldon during a recent webinar titled, "Changing the Game in the Retail Store Through Your Own Branded Mobile Experience."
Mr. Sheldon noted the four phases of this evolution:
Forrester survey results indicated check-in users are "social" shoppers, open to receiving social influence via Facebook or Twitter and more likely to research and purchase products online. Half (50 percent) of the check-in users surveyed said they only visited a store after receiving offers via their mobile device. Another 47 percent of check-in users purchased a new product or service in-store after reading friends' status updates on social networking web sites such as Facebook and Twitter.
"Based on the demographics of the study, check-in users are an appealing segment to retailers. This group typically uses social networks such as Facebook, foursquare and Shopkick, and has a greater average annual income and higher education degrees," noted Mr. Sheldon.
What's the likelihood that mobile check-ins will become a significant traffic driver for retailers over the next three to five years?