Here’s a highlight of some of the top local-business-related news of the week:
[Daily Deals News] Microsoft Pilots Program Linking Daily Deals to Credit Cards
News Source: GeekWire
Microsoft launched a pilot program this week on its Bing Offers site that connects daily deals directly to a user’s credit card. The goal is to eliminate the “friction” caused by requiring users to show or print a coupon when redeeming a daily deal at a business.
This program stems from Microsoft’s participation in the CardLinx Association, a new industry group that aims to create standards for connecting daily deals with consumers’ payment cards.
Microsoft says of the program: “When you use your card to make a qualified purchase at a participating local business, […] you are immediately notified about your savings, and you will receive the discounts directly on your card statement.”
Key Takeaway: Getting consumers to convert on daily deals may become easier without the hurdle of having to show a coupon. But the higher volume of conversions may require businesses to rethink their discount strategy to prevent undercutting profits.
[POS News] GroupOn Updates Breadcrumb POS App to Include CRM Features
News Source: StreetFight
On Wednesday, GroupOn released updates to its Breadcrumb point-of-sale (POS) app to include Customer Resource Management (CRM) capabilities such as storing a customer’s contact information and purchase history.
This new functionality allows businesses to connect payment and transaction data to a traditional customer list used for email marketing and other communications. For each card transaction, a new customer record is created; cash transactions aren’t automatically tracked, but can be manually assigned to a customer record post-sale.
Key Takeaway: If you use Breadcrumb as your POS system, this is a huge win for your business. Not only will this integration allow you to connect with customers after their initial purchase, but it will also provide the information you need to develop highly personalized communications, offers, and rewards. GroupOn is one of the frontrunners with this type of integration, but other POS systems are sure to follow suit.
[Location App News] Foursquare Rolls out Push Recommendations for iPhone App
News Source: CNET
On Thursday, Foursquare began rolling out updates to its iPhone app to automatically push recommendations for nearby things to eat, see, and do.
The feature, which Foursquare refers to as “real-time recommendations,” works in the background on a user’s smartphone, tracking the device’s movements to estimate location. The app then sends a push notification when it finds a location-based bit of information to share.
The majority of Foursquare users on Android already have this functionality, which began to roll out in August.
Key Takeaway: If your business isn’t on Foursquare yet, or if your information is out of date, now is the time to log on and take control of your listing. Real-time recommendations will increase your business’s exposure to Foursquare users in your area.
Other news catch your eye this week? Leave a comment and let us know!