Seeing a marketplace opportunity to deliver a comprehensive customer loyalty system to independent merchants nationally, we associated with SpotOn.com, offering functionality beyond that of the well-known Yelp.
“Yelp lacks a social verification feature, a community and there’s no Facebook friend experience,” Business Director Douglas Burson said. “Yelp is one of those websites that launched prior to the era of social media infiltration and it’s failed to make the transitionLet’s face it. Yelp is like the evil robotic yellow pages. Meanwhile, SpotOn’s friendly flower petal rating system and social features appeal to our much needed restaurant discovery experience.”
The app features personalized recommendations based on your local Foursquare checkin history based on how often you check into places and how you rate places on SpotOn. The app encourages you to rate venues you’ve previously checked into on Foursquare, which might sound like a pain but thanks to its 1-4 petal rating system, reviewing is easy. It even guesses how many petals you might pick based on aggregate ratings. These ratings can then be shared to Buzz, Twitter and Facebook.
“In short, we take your digital preferences, whether it be Facebook Likes, Foursquare checkins or anything else and make them useful in the real world,” Burson said.
To use it: Download it here (Free). Log in through Twitter or Foursquare. Then, SpotOn pulls up a map with a number of restaurant suggestions. Simply click on one of the purple pins to pull up restaurant information including photos and booking information. Then, simply bookmark or share the restaurant.
The SpotOn app is available for iPhone and Android smart phones.
We caught up with Gauri Manglik, Co-Founder and CEO to discuss her inspiration behind the delicious new app.
“I had the idea for SpotOn last year while studying computer science at NYU. It was around the time when location based services were just starting to take off. I love the recommendation experience of Netflix and wanted to bring that to places. I decided it needed to be mobile, because unlike Netflix or Pandora when you’re consuming media from your computer, places require you to be active and out in the world to consume them,” explains Manglik.
“We’re really focused on creating a deeper sense of community. If my best friend who loves coffee rates a coffee shop highly that means something to me. If my vegetarian friend rates a steakhouse I know that’s something I should see,” Manglik says. SpotOn will likely tap into Hunch and Foodspotting‘s API in the future.
“For those of you who have your SpotOn tablets installed and your rewards program up and running, I hope you are enjoying the benefits of all that SpotOn can do for your business, Burson said.
“Early on the name of the game is to get as many customers signed up for the rewards program as possible. In doing so you build up your data base, from which you are able to establish strong customer relationships via email, Facebook and texting. This kind of contact will also help you drive business during your off-peak times.”
For example, if you are seeing a slow week/month unfolding, take a minute to create a new deal for the week/month, or send out an email/Facebook/text blast that offers your customers some sort of incentive to come in to your business. It’s a great way to maintain revenue consistency throughout the month.
For those of you who haven’t seen it, I’m sending a link to a promotional video of June Bug’s Bakery. This is a CA bakery that is experiencing success using SpotOn. Feel free to forward the link to whomever you feel may benefit from it.
Get in touch with me at 816-349-5988 or email@example.com for more info.!
Here’s a great introductory video to SpotOn!