It was announced last month that the location based social networking site Foursquare had decided to join forces with Groupon. Now, I can see why Foursquare would want to partner up here. Groupon’s core competency is the elegance with which consumers purchase and merchants redeem a promotional offer. And if this was an easy thing to build, Foursquare would probably have developed it themselves.
Still, one of the most endearing traits of Foursquare is that the offers are as unique as the merchants who have devised them: Specials for the mayor. Treats for checking in with friends. Frequency based offers, etc. Groupon and the rest of the daily deal sites have basically one stripe to their offers: Buy a Groupon for $x and get $2x worth of purchasing power. Admittedly, this type of offer is (usually) a good deal for the consumer. But it’s also pretty boring, and the main reason I open the Foursquare app is to be entertained.
With that said, now that I have checked in 125 times at over 50 different venues: Why isn’t Foursquare sending me offers that are smarter than Groupon Now?
For example, Foursquare is aware of my affinity for coffee. Let’s say I’m in a new neighborhood (no prior check ins), and its the time of day where I usually get coffee. Why can’t Foursquare send me a push notification with a special for coffee that is nearby my current location? This to me is the ultimate promise of a location based app that I have taught my buying habits. This type of offer is better for the merchant too, because if I have never checked in to his location before, then there is a better chance that I am truly a new customer.
Badges are cool and all, but I will never get tired of saving money. Especially when it makes me feel special.