A roundup of today’s big stories in hyperlocal publishing, marketing, commerce, and technology.
Square Lands Payments Deal With Whole Foods (Wall Street Journal)
Square will offer its checkout system at several Whole Foods stores, making the grocer the second national retailer to allow card processing from the startup.The deal comes more than a year after Square began processing payments at thousands of Starbucks outlets and suggests the San Francisco company is looking to expand more aggressively beyond the food trucks and mom-and-pop shops where it is commonplace.
As Google Updates Places, Could Some Merchants Find Their Listings Deleted? (Street Fight)
Damian Rollison: Local SEO consultants and service providers offer businesses the peace of mind that comes with knowing someone is watching the forums and industry news in order to act on policy changes and new developments quickly. Given the complexity of local SEO and the fast pace of change, it’s unreasonable to place the onus for listing management solely on the small business owner.
Revel Systems Adds Native Bitcoin Transactions To Its POS Offering (TechCrunch)
Revel Systems has reconfigured its point-of-sale software to allow its retail partners to easily accept Bitcoin. The 4-year-old San Francisco-based mobile payment startup has partnered with Bitcoin wallet provider Coinbase to provide a hardware and software solution that allows acceptance of the digital currency into its existing product: the Revel iPad POS.
Case Study: Restaurant Chain Uses Loyalty Data to Improve Customer Experience (Street Fight)
If sales of a particular menu item seem slow this month, then Lucas Clarke is curious to know why that is. The director of marketing at MAD Greens, a Colorado-based chain of restaurants that specializes in seasonal salads and sandwiches, Clarke uses the data from his company’s card-linked mobile loyalty program to learn about sales trends in real-time.
Groupon Shares Drop as Executive Plans Departure (Chicago Tribune)
Shares of Groupon fell more than 6 percent on Tuesday despite a broader market rally, as investors react to the planned departure of a top executive. The company said late Monday that Jeffrey Holden, the senior vice president of product management, will be leaving on March 18.
Yelp Supersizes Its Local Profiles, Makes Them Less Busy (SearchEngineLand)
Yelp has redesigned parts of its web UI to make them more visual and to surface more information. In particular business profile pages have been changed to emphasize images, featured user reviews and key pieces of local content, all of which are now more prominent.
In my First Dine-and-Dash Experience With OpenTable, Even the Server was Onboard With it (VentureBeat)
Rakesh Agrawal: The newest addition to the OpenTable app allows diners in a closed beta to see their bill and pay from their mobile phone at about a dozen restaurants in San Francisco. The value of OpenTable payments was emphasized for me on Sunday when I waited for my check while the bartender flirted with the attractive waitress at the far end of the bar.
Sosh Takes its Recommendation Technology to Seattle, More to Follow (Pando)
Sosh, a San Francisco-based app, thinks it has a different approach to tackle this conundrum. Until today it has been helping San Franciscans and New Yorkers keep up with the trends, and today it’s beginning a bigger expansion — with Seattle being the first stop. It wants to figure out what the actual coolest thing is, using prestigious reviews and inside knowledge of what the best parts of each city are.
iOS 7.1 to Fix Geolocation Issue That Broke Location-Based Apps (MacRumors)
Apple has reversed a change it made to how users quit location-aware apps in iOS 7. In the new OS, Apple changed how location-aware applications work when they are force-quit by users.