Local merchants across the U.S. will soon have a new way to reel in customers.
Foursquare, the app that lets users “check in” at various places and businesses, is unveiling a new feature that allows small businesses to offer customer discounts or feature a photo or flattering review that Foursquare users can see when they’re nearby. A select group of New York City businesses is currently testing the new feature; the company hopes to roll it out nationwide later this summer.
“This is not daily deals,” Foursquare CEO Steven Rosenblatt told AdAge.com. “The vast majority of businesses, the daily deal was not beneficial for them."
Until now, Foursquare has only allowed small merchants to promote offers once someone checked in at their business. Now businesses can create deals and other promotions that users can see when they’re in the vicinity—something only major chains like KFC and RadioShack could do.
Merchants that use the program will be able to target their offers at consumers based on their location or past preferences. An upscale restaurant, for example, could only target promotions at Foursquare users who have previously checked in at upscale restaurants.
Businesses that promote themselves will only pay when a customer claims an offer—Foursquare usually charges $0.50 to $3 per action, but the pricing may be different for local merchants.
Gerardo Perez, co-owner of a Cuban restaurant called Agozar in New York, has been offering promotions to local customers for a few weeks now. “It seems to be working pretty well,” he told AdAge. “I believe it’s giving us more exposure and visibility than before.”
Read more news about mobile apps.