Something I’ve been thinking about for a while, but was really catalyzed by Fred Wilson’s excellent blog post today: With the advent of check ins (and the related possibility that emerges from this) at physical locations facilitated by Foursquare, et al., why have we not seen this applied to Web Sites?
Certainly, it’s a good sign to see email-for-content widgets being the transactional element of choice for gaining the all-important currency of email sign ups (as I discussed in my post, “The New Report Card“). However, I think people are still missing an opportunity.
If (as I do) you believe in the customer journey approach, you know that you fail if – after all the energy and expense related to getting a customer to your site – the customer visits your site once, and never again.
You must compel people to visit more than once.
The customer journey is: awareness, consideration, inquiry, purchase, repurchase. The all-important element is “repurchase.” Again, without repurchase, you fail.
So, we need to compel people to visit over and over. To do this, we have to create value propositions. As offline businesses are discovering, one of these value propositions is the frequency-related “currency” one acquires from being a regular (“Norm!!“); in the parlance of Foursquare, a “Mayor.”
It makes no sense, therefore, that I can’t become the “Mayor” of some site that I visit over and over. The logical progression is that once I build this frequency-related currency, I can potentially receive value adds beyond being dubbed “Mayor” of the Site. (Just to be clear: I’m not saying the Foursquare should do this. Rather, web sites should create their own frequency-related rewards and currency.)
This frequency-related value-add could be free songs, additional access, tickets, whatever.
I would encourage people to think in terms of celebrating the passionate user.
As we move towards more subscription-based revenue, it will become increasingly important to celebrate the people who sign up for these services. I would suggest profiling the users who sign up on the subscription page of the site; interview them, etc. PopCandy celebrates her readers brilliantly.
So…let’s remember The Straddle: look around for these offline things that are working, and find ways to bring it online, and vice versa.
By the way, I fully expect people to tell me that this is already happening. I hope so.