2010.21 | Vancouver Retail | Foursquare Offers | Mobile Parking Payment

This week I was travelling in the greater Vancouver area to visit some clients, and came across some interesting solutions I had not experienced closer to home.

While making a daily pilgramage to Starbucks, I checked into Foursquare and found a little yellow indicator showing that there were offers near my current location.  It turned out that Starbucks has tied their new Frappacino campaign to Foursquare.  If you happen to be the mayor of your local Starbucks, you recieve $1 off any new Frappuccino beverage.  It’s uncertain if this sort of campaign will drive a great deal of traffic, but it’s an interesting idea, and it certainly can’t be costing them much.  It’s also a nice way to reward loyalty.  [Update: I went to Starbucks at home this weekend where I am the mayor, the offer says congratulations for unlocking the offer and it’s shown in colour]

The parking meter situation also presented a solution that was new to me.  One of the problems I encounter periodically is the older cash only situation.  From time to time there is a parking lot that does not accept debit or credit, and I personally complete most transactions in that manner, as I don’t carry cash.  This turns into an inconvenience I would rather avoid.  While in Toronto we have plenty of meters that leverage a ticket station, and I know that there have been experiments with contactless payment, Vancouver had a relatively low tech way of getting the payment completed.   Parkers call a number and enter the meter number and their account connected to their license plate is charged.  I’m sure there are lots of solutions like this out there, I know I’ve seen it in some parking lots, for example, but I’d never seen city meters numbered before.  It certainly made it easier for me to make my meeting on time and helped me avoid a ticket.  Not jingling while you walk was just a bonus!

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