A roundup of today’s big stories in hyperlocal publishing, marketing, commerce, and technology.
Applebee’s To Serve Tablets At Every Table (USA Today)
Applebee’s, the nation’s largest casual dining chain, on Tuesday will announce plans to place tablets at every table in every one of its U.S. restaurants by the end of 2014. Folks can use the tablets to pay whenever they want — and to order things like appetizers, desserts or even play video games. If these high-tech moves — already common at eateries in parts of Europe and Asia — are a hit domestically, much of the $70 billion full-service and casual dining industry is expected to follow.
Bezos Might Get His Delivery Drones Sooner Than You’d Think (Street Fight)
Alex Salkever: If Amazon really wanted to get unmanned delivery aircraft into our skies by the end of the decade, maybe Jeff Bezos could set up a series of challenges, working with DARPA. They could perhaps use U. S. government facilities like simulated urban environments on bases as contest venues. The FAA could chip in with providing specific guidance on how to make drones urban airspace legal for commercial purposes. Bezos could underwrite the contest. All IP created would remain the property of the participants.
Many Consumers Aware Of Digital Wallets, Fewer Use Option (Media Post)
Reports on holiday shopping over the Thanksgiving weekend show mobile grabbing a bigger share of retail spending than during the same time a year ago. But in-store mobile payments still aren’t playing a major role in mobile retail spending, despite the slew of initiatives in the mobile wallets space over the last couple of years.
What Local Causes and Businesses Can Learn From #GivingTuesday (Street Fight)
Patrick Kitano: Building the advocate network for #GivingTuesday simply entails authorizing and amplifying the social media feeds of #GivingTuesday partners, who were receptive, and often enthusiastic to act as local voices for the movement. The same methodology would be used to develop advocate networks for any cause, by providing a simple means to give local influencers and organizations a way to reach their constituents.
Main Street Sees $5.7B In Sales On ‘Small Business Saturday’ (New York Post)
According to numbers just released by the National Federation of Independent Business, consumers spent $5.7 billion on “Small Business Saturday,” a 3.5 percent uptick on last year. The event, sandwiched between Black Friday and Cyber Monday was created by American Express in 2010. Since then it has grown in scope partly because the credit card company offers a $10 credit to those shopping in support of their local small businesses.
Serious Foursquare Users Interact With Public Space in a Totally Different Way (Atlantic Cities)
For all the ways that technology can distance us from one another in the public realm, Foursquare illustrates that it can also do the opposite, nudging us online toward offline encounters we might never otherwise experience. Cornell University researchers found that for many of Foursquare’s super-users, the app clearly created heightened awareness of the people around them, and a stronger connection to the actual places where those encounters might take place.
Rentals Delivered By Drone Could Make Ownership Obsolete (TechCrunch)
Josh Constine: While Amazon’s unveiling of its Prime Air drone-powered delivery service could make buying easier, it’s drone pick-up that could make it so we don’t need to buy things at all. It’s proving feasible for humans to share housing and transportation, but we haven’t quite figured out the sharing of most objects. Perhaps the biggest hurdle is delivery and pickup.
Best Buy Desperately Needs Indoor Location to Improve Customer Experience (Screenwerk)
Greg Sterling: Retailers need to see their apps as in-store customer service and sales tools that can be consulted by customers when humans aren’t available, are indifferent or poorly trained. Outside the store they would emphasize different types of information vs. inside the store, where they would transform into shopping assistants, offering product information, reviews, indoor product locations, promotions and so on.
Somebody Call Eric Schmidt: Moovit Released Its Latest Update On Android Bcefore iOS (PandoDaily)
Moovit’s continued development depends on constantly attracting new users, and charging for its software will limit its growth, especially in the developing markets it’s focusing on. It will instead introduce new features — such as a pilot program that allows users to purchase transit tickets from directly within the app — and make money that way.