The US retailer is using the social location game, SCVNGR to drive sales in their footwear and fitness departments. Using a specially developed version of the game, they are encouraging their customers to check-in and try on items at various locations in their stores. Users can also upload photos. In return Sears are offering ‘players’ discounts of up to 20% on purchases and loyalty points. The app certainly ticks a lot of the boxes on getting customer engagement through mobile. It will be interesting to see how this initiative works out.
A while back, I argued that Foursquare is not social media at all, but it’s actually a game. Yes, it has the tools of social media, but when you look at how people interact with it, it’s the gaming element of becoming mayor that keeps users engaged. There’s an interesting interview with (the very geeky) CEO of SCVNGR (what have they got against vowels?) explaining the difference between what they are doing and the Gowalla/Foursquare approach. The key difference is the challenge element and making each check-in different. When you consider that this is actually what keeps the Foursquare users engaged, the it looks like SCVNGR have nailed it.