I was down at Union Square here in San Francisco, which is this central shopping district and during the holidays it was a complete frenzy of activity. Thousands of shoppers hustling here and there and many shops only getting a small trickle of all that foot traffic.
That's when I thought: If I were one of these shops, I'd rig up a Bluetooth Coupon app on a PC that would "spit" coupons at passerbys. (Spit is what they call Spam on mobiles by the way.) Obviously not everyone has Bluetooth on their phones just yet, but that's okay, as it would probably be the more affluent or cutting edge people that have them now, so it'd be a good thing from a consumer perspective.
It'd be a very simple app which would send out an address book entry or something that most phones could accept with the name of the sender being the shop's name. The coupon would be good for a certain time period - say the next 20 minutes - and worth say 10% off. Something worth it. Just getting your shop's name and phone number onto a potential customer's phone is a good thing. If you think about a weekend with thousands of people passing by, if you could attract a few dozen more int your store who are determined to buy something because of their expiring coupon? That'd be worth the effort, no?
I guess this would only last a short while, because then everyone would turn off their Bluetooth discoverability once every shop keeper in the world is spitting messages at them, but it'd be neat for a while. :-)