In my last post "How has LBS evolved into the daily habits of consumers and business models for businesses", I compared how 3 leading LBS players in Southeast Asia, Singapore markets - Hungrygowhere, Burpple, Yelp have been positioning themselves in terms of social and commerce value propositions. Not surprisingly so, food appears to be the common thread amongst these 3 players' focus, given the vibrant dining out scene in Asia. The question "Is there a Yelp for Asia?" also brings up a slew of similar players focusing on the food market in Asia.
(1) Drive Awareness
- Players like Hungrygowhere, Burpple and Yelp look to business listing, advertisements and gathering food reviews to drive awareness to consumers on awesome eateries with delicious food dishes.
- Following on the footsteps of Yelp's Elite Program, Burpple has also rolled out its Tastemakers' program - featuring food reviews online from hand-picked community members.
- A global player to look at would be Foursquare who has announced that it will be spinning its classic check-in features into a new app called Swarm, while stripping down and focusing its main app on local recommendations instead.
(2) Search, Compare, Transact
- Given the vibrant food scene (eating out) mentioned earlier, online and mobile restaurant reservation booking appears to be garnering momentum, as restaurant businesses are realising that consumers are seeking convenience, flexibility and immediacy to gratify their food experiences.
- Besides Hungrygowhere who provide restaurant booking for consumers online or via mobile, Chope is another leading restaurant reservation booking player in Singapore (and also in Hong Kong), facilitating online booking to offline dining (i.e. O2O commerce).
Echelon June 2013 Singapore - showcase of mobile apps and startups to daily habits of mobile Internet users by Nelson Wee from Nelson Wee
- In my post on "How has the ecosystem evolved with the daily habits of mobile internet users?", I listed examples a growing number of Mobile Loyalty players like wooz.in, chopink, zap who are facilitating the digitisation and mobility for the loyalty programs in offline businesses.
- In Singapore (and in Malaysia), Perx is a leading player tying food and retail offline loyalty programs to the consumers' mobile lifestyle.
Coming back to the consumers and their needs, my feeling is that consumers would only look towards having location-based information and connections if these make sense to them in the context of their life's moments. For instance,
- In Foursquare, these days for me, it is the gamification element in the social leaderboard with friends or the discovery where your friends are which attract.
- In the LBS app harpoen, it is the serendipity on what others who have explored an area in your vicinity which attracts.
- With Talkbits, a MIM app, it is the voices left behind in a select city which provides local insights and knowledge to people who would like to know more about a neighbourhood or even learn the language as his aspiration is to get to that place one day.
- With Jabberly, people use their mobile to ask questions about a particular location and get answers quickly from those with boots on the ground.
Globally and perhaps particularly now in Asia, a number of location-based apps, communities and social networks are sprouting in the food scene - food being the typical question for the day and so very much a part in the daily habits of Asia's mobile internet users. From driving awareness to search, comparison, transactions and loyalty, a number of leading LBS players are positioning their offerings to provide value and entrench themselves into the decision-making processes of consumers - driving consumer traffic from online to offline businesses. And finally, it appears that good old voice could well provide opportunities in bridging users from mobile and online content to offline experiences.
Love to hear your thoughts on how location-based social networks impact on the daily habits of the mobile internet users.
Profile: Nelson Wee, Singapore
PickatSG Food App: http://www.facebook.com/pickatsg