While the general public seems to have grasped the value of accessing Facebook and Twitter from smartphones, it appears most people do not see the value of check-in apps like Foursquare. According to GigaOm, Liz Claiborne recently commissioned a study to find out how customers use mobile commerce tools. Only 30 percent of those surveyed said they expect to use mobile check-in apps.
Check-ins were the least popular of the mobile retail functions polled in the survey. As many as 55% of the respondents say they would look-up product information on their phones, 54% will use a coupon on their phone, and 50% said they would use the phone to follow directions to the store. What I see in common in the top three answers is that each one directly benefits the person using the smartphone, as opposed to check-ins that are largely seen as “broadcasting” one’s location.
The take-away for companies like Foursquare is that to increase use they need to tie their products to the popular functions such as found in the Liz Claiborne study. For their part, Foursquare has recently formed partnerships with coupon sites like LivingSocial and Groupon to provide discounts and other deals to users when they check-in at a particular retail location.