I just recently began to use Passbook on my iPhone when visiting Starbucks. Although I'm proud of my Starbucks Gold Card, I'm pretty happy to reduce the thickness of my wallet by one card. I just hand the barista my phone and they're able to scan my rewards card in right there! Using the Starbuck's app, I can reload my card directly from my phone as well.
The Next Web recently did a post all about Passbook and how businesses should jump on board, but a comment on the post really caught my attention. Because Apple integrated Passbook with its notification service, passes become a premium opportunity for businesses to push updates easily to its users.
Here's a comment from Jim Passell on the article, explaining it's biggest return on investment:
Every one of my customers who has gotten one of my passes, gets an update weekly of a new offer. Their pass refreshed or notifies them. Or I send them an announcement of coming sales, or a personal note from the store manager, or whatever. So my pass stays on the top of their wallet and becomes my channel to communicate with them. They become a permanent customer, even though they might have started out just a coupon-clipper.
Let's face it. The inbox is plagued with spam filter issues and consumers have become numb to email marketing. While there's still an incredible return on investment due to the low cost of email, getting attention is a growing problem. Text messaging is another fantastic push technology, but consumers are often hesitant in subscribing and releasing their phone number for access. Push notifications through mobile applications and apps like Passbook may be your best push marketing opportunity.
We've also discussed Geofencing, a proximity-based marketing tactic that incorporates SMS (text messaging) or Bluetooth marketing. Once your mobile device gets in range, you can push notifications. Well, Passbook offers geolocation as a strategy, too. You can literally push a pass update when someone gets within a certain geographic proximity. Best of all, you don't need any additional technology to support it since it's built right off of mobile geolocation services.
Since Passbook already requires registration of a ticket, boarding pass, coupon or loyalty program, these are also your most engaged users. They've already actively pursued a relationship with your company. And support is not limited to iOS devices, Attido Mobile has developed PassWallet, an Android app that also serves the standard pass packet.
You can develop your own Pass alongside your iOS application using the native library, or you can use an SDK like Passslot. Third party development and management companies include WalletKit, Passdock, PassTools, PassPages, PassRocket and PassKit.