On this last day of 2013, here’s a look back at some of the Street Fight stories that really piqued your interest this year (at least as far as page views go). We’re grateful for all of your support this past year, and we look forward to bringing you more great content, research, and events about sustainable hyperlocal business models in 2014!
1. 7 Cloud-Based POS Systems for SMBs
Stephanie Miles, Feb. 4th: Cloud-based POS platforms differentiate themselves from one another by their advanced integration with digital loyalty programs, accounting tools, and mechanisms for creating gift cards and coupons, in addition to their varying price structures. Here are seven POS systems, each with its own features for merchants.
2. How Does Yelp Make Money and Where Is It Going Next?
Michael Boland, May 6th: Yelp combines the nimble and engineering-driven product focus of a Foursquare or Facebook, with the direct SMB sales of a YP. It’s a powerful combo that few companies have. But seldom discussed is how exactly Yelp makes money. I thought I’d take this opportunity to spell out the model, because I’m constantly asked. It also reveals of some of the moats that Yelp has built and where its product development and growth opportunities may lie.
3. Why Mom-and-Pops Will No Longer Pay for Social Media Management
Julie Brooks, Feb. 6th: I own a digital media company that operates a network of local news and niche websites on Cape Cod in Massachusetts. We sell advertising, web design, and Internet marketing services to hundreds of local clients, most of them are what I call VSBs, or very small businesses. They’re the proverbial mom-and-pop companies. They’re very loyal customers, and they’re my bread and butter. If I can’t deliver tangible performance results for their marketing dollars, I’m out of business.
4. What Multilocation Brands Need to Do to Prepare For Facebook’s Graph Search
Rob Reed, Jan. 28th: With the introduction of Facebook search (a.k.a. Graph Search), brands with multiple locations will soon find their Facebook strategy turned on its head. If you’ve not heard about Graph Search, it was announced on Jan. 15 and is being positioned as the third pillar of the Facebook platform alongside News Feed and Timeline. With Graph Search, Facebook is opening a new world of social discovery by unlocking the value of our likes, check-ins, photos, and more.
5. 7 Key Lessons from AOL’s Struggles With Patch
Josh Fenton, August 12th: AOL’s Patch network of hyperlocal sites is in free-fall — nearly half of its 900 locations across the country are being shut down or partnered off and hundreds of millions of dollars have been lost. The perception from outside is that Patch is a catastrophic failure. There are some critical lessons to be learned from Patch’s effort to fill the void of the failing newspaper industry amid consumers’ rapid shift to digital. Here are seven.
6. Why Local is the Future of Commerce
Steven Jacobs, July 15th: The local marketplace is under renovation: Out with the yellow pages books that cluttered our homes; out with the cash registers. Goodbye punch cards. In their place: location-enabled smartphones; iPad transaction devices; and consumer behavior that, thanks to the ordinariness of e-commerce, has come to expect a wholly different way of interacting with stores in the real world. Powering this transformation is a sprawling network of technology companies at play below the surface, replacing an outdated infrastructure with a digital foundation, or “stack.” A stack that finds its roots in e-commerce.
7. 6 Tools Local Publishers Can Use to Build Business Directories
Stephanie Miles, Jan. 8th: Directories give publishers a way to target local advertisers with a low-cost, self-serve alternative to traditional banners and display ads. Just as importantly, they provide instant value to readers interested in learning more about the merchants in their hometowns. Here are six tools that publishers can use to build custom business directories into their existing publication websites.
8. M&A Heats Up in Hyperlocal: Here’s What 4 Big Acquirers Are Looking For
Steven Jacobs, Feb. 15th: There are quite a few major tech and media companies with an interest in hyperlocal, either with an eye toward bolstering their current stable of offerings or to opening up new local markets. Here’s a quick look at four major players who may currently be in the hunt for locally focused acquisitions and what each might be looking for.
9. Local Search is Becoming A Mobile Experience With A Social Layer
Rob Reed, May 3rd: Local search has been a “thing” for more than a decade. It started as a basic utility — needing to find a place and get directions — that consumers accessed through PCs. It often ended with printing out directions, which was the local-search equivalent of dial-up Internet service. These days, consumers predominantly use their mobile devices to search locally and generate turn-by-turn directions. And it’s having a disruptive effect on many of the first-generation local-search players.
10. Weather Channel VP: Relevance Is Key On Mobile
Noah Davis, January 2nd: Six months ago, former Bing marketing executive Eric Hadley joined the Weather Channel as senior vice president for partner solutions and ad trade marketing. Hadley recently spoke with Street Fight about the tension between local and national in weather coverage and information, the secrets behind Weather Channel’s success on mobile, and his predictions for the coming year.