Allowing customers to check-in when they redeem offers

If your customers have to visit your locations in order to do business with you, you can request that they check-in on Google Maps for Mobile  before they redeem your offer. To check in to places, users first sign in to Google+. They can choose to share the check-in publicly or with some of their circles, which helps spread the word about your business within their circles on Google+. They can also choose to keep their check-in private and still redeem an offer.

If your customers do not have to visit your location, for example if you serve homes or businesses by delivery or by callouts, you can keep this option off (set to “No”) and customers will not be asked to check-in when they redeem offers. We use the Service Areas and Location Settings setting on your listing to determine if you have a service area for offers that have already been created. When you create a new offer, you can choose whether to allow a check-in during redemption.

What is a check-in? A check-in is a way that a customer can chose to note that they are at a specific place. Some people share check-ins to tell friends about businesses that they visit. Some people check-in privately (instead of sharing this information with friends) so they can track businesses they have visited.

How can check-ins help my business? Check-ins are a good way to promote your business online. It’s like an online tool for word of mouth advertising. It also associates the use of an offer with your physical location which helps connect customers both online and offline.

How much does it cost to upload an offer into Google Places? It’s free for merchants to upload an offer into Google Places.

Will other people see my customers’ check-ins to my business? Your customers will choose who see their check-ins on Google+. If check-ins are public, anyone can see them. If check-ins are shared with a circle, a smaller group such as the family or coworkers will see them. If check-ins are private, only the customer can see them.

If I ask users to check-in when they redeem an offer, do people have to check-in? Customers who use Google products that support offers and check-ins (currently Google Maps for Mobile on Android) will have to check-in when they redeem an offer. Customers can choose which circles they share their check-in with.

What kinds of businesses should allow check-ins when redeeming?If customers must come into your place of business to do business with you, particularly to pay for goods and services, you should allow check-ins. This includes most businesses like:

  • Restaurants
  • Cafes
  • Shops
  • Gyms

 

If customers do not need to come in, even if it is only in some circumstances, you should not request a check-in. This includes offers for:

  • Delivery businesses like pizza delivery or office supply delivery
  • Services like plumbers, roofers, and carpet cleaners
  • Businesses where orders can be placed and paid via phone or internet, such as a florist
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