Restaurants do it. Airports do it. Should you offer a check-in program via Foursquare, Gowalla or CheckPoints? The technology may seem like a go-nowhere game that doesn't do much for your bottom line. But if a you, a retailer, partner with a product manufacturer to create a mobile check-in program, you could halt "check-in fatigue" and, better yet, drive in-store purchases.
Some examples: According to Advertising Age, PepsiCo has been working directly with Hess gas stations via Foursquare. When a customer checks into the gas station, they receive a coupon for a Brisk and Frito-Lay product. PepsiCo and Safeway also have teamed up with Foursquare to allow loyalty customers to unlock Pepsi rewards every time they shop. Check-in at Whole Foods, and you get the chance to win Tazo Tea or a gift certificate to the store.
These relationships have the potential to combat so-called "check-in fatigue," when customers get tired of checking into places and spaces for no apparent reason. Instead, the retailer-manufacturer partnership offers customers an added value—an incentive to check in.
Natural brands like Seventh Generation are already teaming up with location-based app creators. But who's to say that retailers can't lead the connection? Ask the manufacturers of products you stock if they're interested. Think of the places your store will go.