Facebook finally launched Deals in Europe today. The service allows businesses to reward customers for checking in to specific locations (like their stores or places of business) with their mobile phones. A host of big brands, including Starbucks, (offering a free filter coffee to those who check in), Debenhams, Argos, Alton Towers, O2 (offering 10% off all accessories and gaming products, and discounted Usher tunes for those who check in at his O2 concerts this week) and Mazda were part of the launch. Here’s a quick video that explains all…
You may remember the death knell tolling for Foursquare last August when Facebook launched Places – their geo location service, but the end for Foursquare never came – partly due to their continued innovations, and partly because Facebook Places at the time didn’t have an in built incentive mechanism. But yesterday Facebook finally announced Deals – the missing ingredient in their location service. There are four kinds of deals; Individual deals – focused on providing the individual a discount, free merchandise, or other reward just for “checking in” to the business’s Facebook place, Friends deals – different from individual offers because they will provide a special deal when you and your friends claim an offer together, Loyalty deals – as more people will begin to check in through Places, brands also will have the ability to offer deals based on loyalty, and Charity deals – by checking in, companies will make a donation to a related charity. McDonald’s (for example) donated $1 to the Ronald McDonald House Charities for every check in when Daels launched in the US last November.
Deals is a great tool for customer acquisition and retention, and can be used in a whole host of creative ways. This article details some of the most creative ways businesses are using Facebook Places and Deals in the US, and we’re sure to see similar creativity exercised in the UK shortly.
The move is part of a growing trend which will see consumers increasingly use their mobile phones instead of credit cards. Last week it emerged that Appleâ€™s forthcoming iPad and iPhone are expected to include a mobile payments feature that the firm hopes will replace cash and cards for millions of users.
But one question remained for business owners last night, and that’s how do I use deals? Hopefully this PDF will help… [Deals_businesses.pdf]