Why All Retailers Need to Get on Passbook!

Posted on October 16, 2012

Yesterday Starbucks Canada updated their iOS application to enable Apple’s new Passbook feature. I really think that this is the beginning of the realization of the promise of location-based marketing.

How Awesome is Passbook?

It’s awesome. It made it really easy to pay for my coffee this morning. Normally I have to do a search for the Starbucks app and wait while it loads up. Not this time, a quick tap to the home screen, passbook and opened up the Starbucks pass. I even think that the POS system was more easily able to scan the passbook barcode than the one in the Starbucks app.

This was a great first experience in the wild with Passbook.

Why is Passbook going to make Location-Based Marketing a Reality?

When I walked into Starbucks, my phone vibrated. It vibrated because I have a Passbook Pass that is set to show on the homescreen when I walk into my favourite Starbucks.

Imagine that I’m walking past businesses for which I have Pass, they are businesses that I have opted in to receive information from. When I’m walking past these businesses I can be notified by a vibration that there is something for me.

That vibration, it’s the same vibration I receive when I receive a text message or a VIP email – I’m going to check my phone, I’m going to see the message from my retailer.

This is huge.

Retailers need to start thinking about Passbook.

Retailers can profit immensely from passbook and from its incorporation into their promotional systems by indicating special offers that could be of interest to their customers. They can remind storecard holders that they have a facility of payment at that particular store, it can jog their memory and bring them in to buy.

The bottom line is that any retailer that doesn’t include Passbook in their channel offerings is leaving significant revenue on the table.