Local search and reviews firm Yelp is adding check-in offers to its suite of services, which also include social networking. Business owners can choose to add check-in offers as a way to incentivize repeat business or simply draw foot traffic into a store. Yelp offers three types of check-in offers: percentage discounts, free giveaways, and fixed price offers.
Businesses are only allowed to offer one check-in offer through Yelp at any time. Users redeem offers by presenting a special mobile certificate at the business’s location. Businesses can specify how many check-ins are required of a user to qualify for an offer. The check-in offers are part of the latest Yelp mobile app update, which is now available for Android and is awaiting approval for iPhone.
After users redeem a business’s offer, they can begin trying to accumulate check-ins to qualify for another offer from that business. The approach is similar to the way SCVNGR offers rewards to players of its location-based “scavenger hunt” game. Yelp Director of Mobile and Consumer Products Eric Singley says the offers make sense because 30% of Yelp’s traffic comes from its mobile app.
Yelp also says that check-in traffic through its business has been growing 50% month-over-month, suggesting a strong synergy between Yelp’s core local review service and location-based activity. Earlier this year Yelp added Foursquare-like badges and “royalty” status to help encourage user check-ins.
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