Best Buy has reinvented its mobile app, creating several new features for cutting-edge forms of customer engagement.
According to the Mobile Commerce Daily report on the change, Best Buy is now implementing loyalty rewards for check-ins. The loyalty program, Reward Zone, will remain largely unchanged, but now customers can earn even more points simply by logging on when they are in a store. Not only does this feature have the potential to cut down on showrooming trends that drive purchases away from stores, but it also gives Best Buy a way to ensure that customers see any mobile offers it wants to publish on its login page.
Compatible Best Buys will have a geo-fenced area. Inside the perimeter, customers can switch to an in-store mode, which in turn gives them an option to take advantage of the loyalty modifications. A single check-in can offer as many as 10 loyalty points. Best Buy tends to offer discounts and gift certificates based on accumulating points, so frequent check-ins can literally mean money in a customer’s pocket: Check-ins are limited to two per week, but the rewards could still be substantial. Customers also gain the ability to keep an eye on the prices of specific items via their mobile interface to see when something gets a price cut.
Best Buy has experimented with check-in technology before, but this is the first time the company has developed a proprietary, in-house solution — a more elegant approach that allows for a neater tie-in to the traditional Reward Zone. And Best Buy says more mobile updates are on the way, including support for Windows phones as well as Apple and Android, and a tablet-optimized site for the iPad, Samsung Galaxy and Kindle Fire.
Companies like Best Buy — those with a singular brand focus plus an accompanying storefront — should watch the success of this in-house check-in app with interest. The potential for similar loyalty-program augmentation could reinvigorate plenty of stores. Home-improvement stores such as Home Deport and Sears come to mind, as they have strong relationships with local contractors and depend on in-store customers.
Businesses that cannot afford to create their own apps can still use vendors like CheckPoints, which offer loyalty apps that allow customers to accumulate points by visiting stores. An even more interesting version of the app is Viggle, which performs a similar service for entertainment; it awards viewers points when they “check in” to various TV shows or other screen-based events.
These apps all share a similar goal — the desire to keep customers visiting traditional channels where the bulk of purchases or views once occurred. Hybridizing the experiencing by combining it with mobile-age trends could breathe new life into services that are starting to feel the m-commerce crunch.
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