Booyah’s MyTown just started implementing product check ins to its 2.5 million user base, adding a bit of Foursquare-like functionality to their app. Scanning item barcodes earn users points and the potential for real life perks, giving retailers the ability to track consumer patterns, geo-local info and more.
TheNextWeb praised the value of this kind of data, but said that MyTown will both suffer and reap the rewards of needing to stay tied to physical location. As it stands, app owners need to actually scan the barcodes on the products they want to track, meaning they have to be standing in an actual store to check in. This plays into the geo-location trend well, but if I were MyTown I would be looking beyond the strings of physicality.
I will admit I have never played MyTown’s Monopoly like game and so I don’t know the gameplay implications of adding virtual checkins, but let’s put gameplay aside for the sake of spelling out the huge e-commerce opportunity here:
Imagine if product check ins could also take place online. Any participating retailer could add something like a QR code badge to their online product pages so that users could check in with online retailers as well as in physical stores. Retailers could gather a more complete data set for where consumers are discovering and lusting after products and with every online partnership MyTown gains increased visibility.
At first people would see the badge on product pages and wonder, possibly downloading the app and jumping on board. Then, if the app delivers on its promises, people get hooked, more retailers join the bandwagon, and virtual MyTown badges become the e-commerce version of Facebook’s Like buttons on the web. Looks like MyTown could be poised to Run This Town Tonight.