American Express has formed a partnership with Foursquare and others to change coupon offers from traditional to digital. Eliminating the scissors and envelope to automation will speed the transactions and improve data collection. (and reduce employee fraud?)
American Express and the social networking service Foursquare have launched a partnership that enables American Express card members who link their Foursquare profiles to their cards to "load" to mobile devices and redeem merchant specials without the need for coupons or special codes.
American Express uses Smart Offer Engine to leverage their services. Card holders link their card to their Foursquare profile to see specials. When they find a special offer they want to take advantage of, they check in to the merchant and load the special to their card. Sounds simple.
The first partnerships enable with the Smart Offer Engine were with Foursquare at South by Southwest and LevelUp, which is a product of SCVNGR.
Will this catch on? The appeal of an automated system similar to the now common grocery store loyalty discount card will certainly become popular quickly.
First go to AmericanExpress link: https://sync.americanexpress.com/foursquare/
Read the simple instructions:
After you test the system and understand the thought process of how or why your guests may have interest in Foursquare, your management team will need to evaluate the pros and cons of including this into a marketing plan.
New changes are around the bend. Too early to say whether it will be a hit but I believe there will be eagerness to participate because of the automation for all concerned.
This will also challenge the perception of value. If your restaurant is successful because of its reputation, continue to raise the bar and engage the guests. They will soon have the distraction of more new widgets, gizmos, social media and good deals.
Don't know how to use Foursquare? Watch this video.
Automatic couponing will be another trap just as the deal of the day offers will be.
Once a restaurateur goes down the road of deep discount, it is a tough road to get off.