// what do you think?


The Future of Location Based Services is “Checking Out” not “Checking In”

Alternatively titled: The Rebirth of Brick and Mortar.

Will location based services (LBS), like Foursquare, Gowalla, Facebook Places and SCVNGR ever go main stream when only 4% of adults use them? Yes they will. But the future of “checking in” is actually “checking out.” Huh? I know you’re wondering if I’ve been stuck in one too many meetings today and yes I have but here’s what I mean.

Pardon me while I exercise my anthropological skills:

See this photo? Yes it’s blurry but I was trying to take it without the couple noticing that I was being voyeuristic. What you might not be able to tell is that this newly expecting couple (they’re looking at baby products, can’t remember which) both of them have their phones out as they shop. They’re looking for reviews and comparing prices (I also overheard a little of their conversation).

The future of LBS is in connecting the 4 P’s

Are they “checking in?” No, they’re “checking out” Products and Prices. What’s missing? For those familiar with the “4 P’s” of marketing it’s Places. Promotion is actually inherent in both.

Will main stream consumers ever checkin on Foursquare to get badges and tell the World where they are? No, that only works for early adopters like me. Will they checkin in order to checkout deals around them? Absolutely.

We are already at the cusp of combining price comparisons, reviews, coupons, social shopping, LBS and social gaming we just haven’t quite brought them all together (hence why this couple needed two phones).

Foursquare + RedLaser + Groupon + Facebook = __________? (Whatever the answer Amazon should be very afraid.)

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About Tac

Social media anthropologist. Communications strategist. Business model junkie. Chief blogger here at New Comm Biz.

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