“It’s Foursquare without cell phones” explains Mohamed Shahin, one of the cofounders of GenieTag, a cloud based check-in service that doesn’t require users to carry any mobile device.
Mohamed, along with his cofounder Adam El Dada, had been pondering for a while how to increase physical traffic to shops and stores. Their research showed that when defections are cut in half, the average growth rate doubles, while a 5% change in the rate of customer retention swings profit increases from 25% to 100%. GenieTag, a check-in service that doesn’t require connected devices, is their solutions. By employing a loyalty program tied to the system, GenieTag will then entice customers to visit shops for a reward.
GenieTag combines loyalty programs, referral marketing and social media. Using RFID technology embedded in wrist bands and keychains, which would be distributed to customers free of charge, GenieTag’s cloud based system will know when customers check in and reward them instantly. In return, using tablets available at shops, currently being developed in cooperation with the University of McMaster and Toronto University, users would promote stores from their personal accounts. “It’s word of mouth 2.0,” Mohamed concluded.
How is it different from Foursquare?
Firstly, “It’s more accurate” as checking in cannot happen unless users are physically at the store, “you really can’t hide from the system.” Consequently, users cannot cheat their way into promotions. Secondly, it provides accurate data on inflow and outflow to stores, an additional feature that will generate revenue by selling demographical reports for businesses. Finally, it's easier to use. There is no need to download or launch any applications.
GenieTag is currently still in development, and expected to launch in the Middle East, starting with Dubai, towards the end of the year.