Foursquare Analytics Are Shallow

Foursquare ClingLast week Foursquare provided an update to its platform along with an accompanying announcement.  The location based service that allows customers to check-in to local venues and businesses, earn rewards for activity and share status with their friends noted that they had upgraded their specials interface for businesses as well as their analytics.  True to its word, Foursquare 3.0 does carry some new features that allow business owners (and the agencies providing guidance) to discern what kinds of specials they should create to encourage new customers as well as loyalty.  Meanwhile, Foursquare 3.0 also promised to deliver “an all-new analytics dashboard”.  Here’s a comparison of the old analytics dashboard versus the new.

Foursquare Analytics Dashboard Before March 11, 2011

foursquare insights

Foursquare Analytics Dashboard Now

foursquare analytics dashboard

Here’s what changed:

  • foursquare specialsInterface design and layout: easier to view with relevant color, graph and icon usage
  • Specials statistics: see total days run, views and unlock tallies
  • More information about age breakdown: pie chart splitting audience into four age segments
  • Ability to export: download daily check-in and specials stats for the venue you manage

While this update is a step up with respect to aesthetics, it still lacks some important insights that local store owners could utilize to enhance their Foursquare efforts and to educate themselves about their customer base.   Here are some thoughts on what else Foursquare analytics should deliver.

More Detail on Specials – Are they working?  Are they not?  Is my current unlock rate decent compared to other venues in the area?  Were there any significant trends over the time period in which they viewed or unlocked?  Foursquare could also offer recommendations for low view-to-unlock conversion rates.

Where Else Have Visitors Checked In? – Such data would allow store owners agencies providing support to build out personas for various customer archetypes. This would aid in customer service and efforts to increase average ticket totals. There is also an opportunity here for local business partnerships and shared campaigns among venues that have the exact same customer (i.e. “visit us both and save” specials).

Foursquare MayorReturn Frequency – What percentage of my customers are loyal?  Who are my regulars other than this mayor character? Speaking of which…

Customer Ratings Beyond Mayorship – Who has more friends? Most frequent check-in behavior over varying time periods? Most likely to share?  Customers may always be right, but they are not all created equal.

What Kind of Phone? – Foursquare promotes the different phones on which their service can operate right on their Home page. Why don’t they share this data in analytics? This could have implications for mobile advertising and application development.

Tip Sentiment Scoring – Those who check in to a venue can leave tips for others (e.g. “the sashimi rolls are to die for” or “all the nail techs seem nice but my cuticles beg to differ”). What is the relative level of positive vs. negative commentary? Recent press suggests they’ve been at least tinkering with sentiment analysis.

The 3.0 update implies that Foursquare is taking its relationship with businesses more seriously. Perhaps they should provide more meaningful metrics that would allow those same businesses to return the favor.

What other insights should Foursquare be adding to its analytics dashboard?