A roundup of today’s big stories in hyperlocal publishing, marketing, commerce, and technology.
Stores Confront New World of Reduced Shopper Traffic (Wall Street Journal)
Best Buy became the latest retailer to chime in with weak holiday results. Like other chains, the electronics retailer blamed the race to offer the deepest discounts, a game of brinkmanship that hurt profit margins and held back revenue. But there is a deeper malaise at work: A long-term change in shopper habits has reduced store traffic — perhaps permanently — and shifted pricing power away from malls and big-box retailers.
7 Strategies For Local Merchants Using Big Data Services (Street Fight)
One of the biggest misconceptions about big data is that it’s only relevant for large businesses. In reality, big data services are often just as useful for local merchants on Main Street as they are for global retail chains and CPG brands. Here are seven strategies for local merchants looking to take better advantage of big data services.
LivingSocial Board to Prioritize Management, Operations Experience in CEO Search (Washington Post)
LivingSocial’s board of directors had discussed bringing in an operating officer with business management experience to support Tim O’Shaughnessy prior to the chief executive’s announcement earlier this month that he would step down. Sources said the discussions took place “from time to time,” but there wasn’t an active search when O’Shaughnessy approached the board late last year with his intention to hand over the reins of the company.
Hyperlocal Opportunity: 100 Billion Monthly Ad Impressions (Marketing Land)
Greg Sterling: Absent a radical turnaround at Patch, its name will be synonymous with a failed “hyperlocal” experiment. Indeed, there have been many dreams and attempts to build a hyperlocal network over the past decade. But there are very few true success stories.
Publisher Stumbles in Wild Chase for Growth (New York Times)
David Carr: After a failed attempt to buy The Boston Globe in 2011, Aaron Kushner purchased The Orange County Register and has been on a mission that seems to defy logic and gravity, hiring a mob of reporters, playing hardball against distressed competitors and lustily grabbing for a bigger footprint. The ambition is admirable, but some of the execution has been head-scratching.
Uber And Disruption (TechCrunch)
Usually an industry’s disruption happens faster than anyone anticipates. Things look like business as usual to the slow moving incumbents, who often have not faced a real market threat for a while. Then the incumbents’ business undergoes sudden, cataclysmic collapse. Uber and Lyft are in the midst of causing this pattern to eat away at the taxi industry.
5 Go-Tos To Make Online Reviews Work For Your Business (SearchEngineLand)
Review prominence in search results is also rising, as they often appear for a business just below their company website and make up the majority of the corresponding top 10 search results. Major search and review sites weight online reviews very highly, and the online “word-of-mouth” credibility they offer local businesses is huge. Reviews are gold citations for local marketers, and without them, many businesses risk not being found in local search results.