Innovating Around the Check-Out Rather than the Check-In


Couponing is a hot space and companies are finding success from different angels: Groupon for local deals, Foursquare and Facebook for check-in promotions, Shopkick for in-store 'gaming', etc. But the reward / redemption remains clunky and, rather than the check-in, we need innovation around the check-out. Here is a good example. I received the below Best Buy Rewards Card via my email - I have $35 of Reward Zone credits.

So I visited Best Buy to redeem it... with only my iPhone and the email. In theory, that should be enough - after all, Best Buy sent the email and it includes my Reward Zone number, which is sitting in their system (which cashiers and employees can access by name, phone number, card, etc).

But the cashier could not access the point balance at the register and could do not apply the coupon without having a hard copy of the certificate. She pointed me towards the computer section and had me use a public machine to print the coupon (this process required manager supervision and took 5-10 minutes). With paper in hand, I went back to the cashier and restarted the check-out process.

There are several ways to imagine a crisper process for the consumer and company. Of course the trouble is integrating across various systems that, for various reasons, do not speak to each other... That's the challenge and that's why focusing on the check-in is only part of the solution.