Passbook and Facebook Offers – Will Social and Purchase Come Together

Passbook Brings Mobile Commerce Closer to Brands

Apple iPhone 5’s launch introduces a new app – Passbook, which will allow digital transactions. This is Apple’s version of the digital wallet. Passbook allows consumers to connect their loyalty cards receive and access mobile tickets, boarding passes and coupons.

Passbook is location and time-enabled, which as per Apple’s developer kit will allow brands to configure the offer to display on the user’s “Lock Screen” at appropriate time and place. Passes (such as coupons, tickets, boarding passes, gift cards etc.) can be updated dynamically through Push notification.

They can be distributed via email, web and directly from an app and contain barcodes and 2D codes such as QR codes that can be scanned.

Passes maybe attached to an email, which iOS6 users can view and add to the Passbook. On the web, using Safari in iPhone 5 or iOS6, users can tap on links to access passes and add them to Passbook.

For brands looking to leverage Facebook to create passes Woobox provides an option. Woobox is a Facebook app developer that now supports Passbook. Its coupon app allows brands to create a coupon that the brand can post to its Facebook page. Fans who see the coupon in their newsfeed on their iPhone 5 will be able to save the coupon to their Passbook.

Brands can now create passes such as coupons to drive consumers to retail, track the redemption and the channel i.e. email, web or app that converts the best.

Mobile Coupons from Target app can be added to Passbook

With the launch of Passbook several retailers such as Target and Gap have integrated with Passbook. There haven’t been any CPG brands so far that have announced any integration via their mobile app or otherwise.

Facebook Offers Provides Yet Another M-Commerce Opportunity with Passbook

Brands can also potentially leverage Facebook Offers to create passes. Facebook Offers rolled out this year in March when Facebook switched to the new timeline format. Offers were only available to retailers and local merchants. The feature was free until last week, when Facebook announced that offers would require merchants and retailers to pay to run them on their Facebook pages.

Offers were also rolled out to the brands’ Facebook page. Brands can now create Offers and target them based on user demographics.  Similar to promoted posts, which are one of the ad formats that Facebook provides, Offers are paid ads on Facebook. These offers show up in both the desktop and mobile newsfeed of the fans and friends of fans.

Facebook Offers can be for in-store or online; brands can also add barcodes to the Offer.

Brands can include barcode in the offer to track the redemption at retail

Fans can claim the Offer in their newsfeed, which is then sent to their email address. At this point the Offer can be saved to Passbook. This will allow brands to assign ROI value to the Facebook fans in terms of Offer redemption while ascertaining which channel works the best.

With Passbook and Offers, brands can now begin to connect their social media to purchase behavior even more efficiently. What do you think?