Westfield discounts when you “check-in” via Facebook

Westfield has attempted to bridge the divide between retail and online shopping by offering discounts when customers check-in via Facebook. Retail sales in Australia have been looking bleak, and retailers are trying to find new ways to win customers back.

The scheme will be trialled in partnership with retailers including Angus & Coote and Cotton On. Customers who check-in via Facebook with their smartphone will receive alerts on discounts which are available instore. The first week of the trial begins August 15, with an offer of 30% off full-priced jewellery at Angus & Coote. Cotton On will offer customers 30% off the following week.

When a customer checks in via the social network, their friends can view where the person is located (in this case, which business), providing the company with online exposure. Foursquare, another social networking site which focuses on geographic locations has been offering customers similar deals for some time.

Westfield marketing general manager John Batistich said the new scheme would allow retailers to pinpoint consumers and target them with relevant deals.

"Retail, and particularly the way we can now target shoppers with special deals and discounts, has changed dramatically over the past decade," Mr Batistich said in a statement.

"With tools such as Facebook Check In Deals we're now able to communicate to our shoppers in relevant and localised ways," he said.

It’s not the first time Westfield has dabbled in social media play – in 2009, Westfield offered customers the chance to win $10,000 by updating their Facebook status via the Westfield Gift Card Application.
Commonwealth Bank, 7-11 and KFC are also offering deals via Facebook when customers check in.

Facebook has recently drawn criticism over privacy concerns after a status update was circulated warning about contact numbers uploaded from smartphones.