Posted August 16, 2010 3:13 pm by with 7 comments

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Over the weekend the Gap offered a 25% discount for your shopping just by checking in at a store. You didn’t need to be the mayor or the janitor or nothing. Jut check in then cash out at the check out. As they say here in the south “That dog’ll hunt!” DOn’t get too excited though because the promotion has already come and gone.

Mashable reported on this effort and makes an observation about foursquare’s potential advantages over the same offer given through Facebook or Twitter

The same discount is available to Twitter and Facebook users, but Facebook users have to print out a coupon and Twitter users have to offer up a discount code at the cashier. If you go the Foursquare route, you just have to check in at the store, though we’re not sure how the cashier knows about it; maybe he or she has to look up your user name, or maybe you actually have to show them your phone?

Did any of our MP readers take advantage of this offer? How was it executed? Did you need to show your phone or is the Gap a trusting bunch? Actually, if you somehow knew about this offering it is likely that you are at the top of the tech curve so just mentioning the offer was probably enough.

This type of use of geo-location tools though, is intriguing. The advertising factor is what a retailer is really looking at. Sure you may drive some traffic to the store but now you are pushing your message out to individual shopper’s networks, which is just like a referral.

When friends are alerted to the whereabouts of other friends it serves as an ad of sorts and this kind of exposure offsets at least some of the discount at the register. Of course, with retail mark-ups being what they are The Gap is not cutting its retail nose off to spite its face. They’re still making money ….. just not as much.

I am a ‘later adopter’ of the geo-location craze. I admit that. However, when I hear about more creative uses of the technology and services beyond just getting a silly online badge for my efforts, I am willing to give it another look. After all, everyone loves a bargain.

  • Aimee

    How long have we been waiting for mobile to finally take off? Let’s hope Foursquare is the catalyst we needed. Very exciting to see a brand like Gap embracing mobile (and Foursquare) in this way!

  • Does foursquare offer geolocation as a game? Not clear how it works.


  • LOL “…silly online badge…”! Finally, someone tells it like it is! Now a real discount like this, or like the BestBuy/ShopKick project makes sense!

    Of course, the natural evolution of this is to have an intelligent backend processing that can award real loyalty points for their best customers (ala frequent flier miles, etc). We are doing that now with our application that uses Layar

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  • Chili’s Restaurant (at least the one near me) offers free chips & salsa if you check in while there (no need to be mayor, etc.) I just show the server my phone with the special from Foursquare. The screen gives a coupon code for them to use.