GroupTabs is a hybrid check-in and group buying application. Users check-in to bars and restaurants to unlock time-sensitive group deals. Offers tip once a specified number of users check-in at a venue. Every deal has a window, usually a couple of hours. The service works through an HTML5 web application ( rather than a native iPhone or Android app.

GroupTabs mixes check-ins with group experiences. It socializes check-ins by tying geo-targeted behavior to the power of the crowd. Mashable describes the application as “Foursquare Meets Groupon.”

The GroupTabs service essentially lets merchants activate deals after a set number people check in to their venue, all the while encouraging patrons to spread their checkins via social media to encourage a swarm-like effect. (via Mashable)

I see great potential in GroupTabs’ business model. I love the combination of LBS and group buying. With the advent of Facebook Places, offering its vast network of social connections to spread check-in behavior far and wide, GroupTabs could come to embody the perfect marriage of location awareness, social media, and group buying.

Why Should GroupTabs Look to Digital Signage?

Given the time-sensitive nature of place-based deals on GroupTabs, digital signage would be a powerful promotional tool for driving social check-in behavior. Real-time deals could be announced on digital signage networks, providing an engaging call-to-action to promote more user check-ins and to drive venue traffic via social media channels. Location-based digital displays could act as deal countdown clocks, presenting live check-in stats as patrons moved closer to tipping a deal.

Retailers, bars, and restaurants could use digital billboards near their establishments to broadcast GroupTabs deals. Using digital out-of-home media as an advertising outlet for flash group buying offers, would extend the innovative GroupTabs platform to a larger population of consumers. Maximizing user check-ins would provide establishments with valuable data about their customers. The dynamic nature of DOOH networks would give GroupTabs’ location partners the ability to promote different deals, working to drive the greatest number of people to their venues.