A roundup of today’s big stories in hyperlocal publishing, marketing, commerce, and technology.
Fashion Retailer Tries on Apple’s iBeacon for Size (Wall Street Journal)
Jewelry and gift retailer Alex and Ani is using in-store wireless technology based on Apple’s iBeacon location-aware protocol to engage with smartphone-carrying shoppers. The company, which generated $230 million in sales last year, is getting help from an Apple technology retailers hope may make it easier to add a new, mobile dimension to in-store engagement with customers.
Could a Hybrid Model Scale Community News and Keep the Passion? (Street Fight)
Tom Grubisich: Neither big media nor independent journalistic entrepreneurs have succeeded in finding a scalable model for hyperlocal news and information. But could something in the middle work better? It begins with editor-publishers who have a passionate commitment to community, and would be balanced by a scaled business model that will pay attention to cost curves and be open to new revenue opportunities.
The World’s Top 10 Most Innovative Companies in Local (Fast Company)
Yelp always excelled at half the retail experience: browsing. For its 117 million monthly users, the online service offers user-generated opinions on local restaurants, doctors, you name it–47 million reviews and counting. But when users wanted to buy something, Yelp was no help. No longer.
Openings & New Hires at CO Everywhere, PlaceIQ, and LiveIntent (Street Fight)
Every two weeks, Search Influence’s Kelly Benish — who knows practically everyone in hyperlocal — covers some of the latest job changes taking place in this dynamic industry. In this week’s edition, jobs at AOL, Yahoo, Google, VendAsta and Ballantine Communications.
Uber Car-Hailing App Expands in China’s Congested Market (Wall Street Journal)
Allen Penn, Uber’s head of Asia, cited special challenges in China for the San Francisco company. One in particular: how to make using the app more appealing to Chinese customers, who already have dozens of ride-fetching apps to choose from.
Taco Bell Will Start Taking Orders via Smartphone Later This Year (Restaurant News)
Taco Bell is preparing to roll out mobile ordering nationwide later this year, a move that will likely fuel a trend expected to shake up the quick-service world. The Irvine, Calif.-based quick-service chain began developing an app that allows guests to order ahead using smartphones about two and a half years ago, and recently has conducted a controlled beta test in five units in Orange County.
Mobile Apps More Likely to Impact Dining Decisions than Online (Screenwerk)
Among the various considerations in a new JiWire study about QSRs, menu availability is the most important decision-making factor for consumers in at home (their city) while proximity (near me now) is the most important consideration to travelers. Both at home consumers and travelers say that mobile is a critical platform to help make decisions about where to eat.
Former Groupon Product SVP Jeff Holden Joins Uber As Chief Product Officer (TechCrunch)
Just a few days after it was revealed that Groupon product chief Jeff Holden was leaving the daily deals giant to join a “Bay Area tech company,” we now know where he has landed. Uber announced this morning that it has hired Holden as its new Chief Product Officer.
LBMA Podcast: PlaceIQ, Dwango, Nokia and Blue Bite (Street Fight)
On the show: The topt stories during the past week in location and contextual based marketing including stories from Microsoft, Foursquare, Shopcloud, Ryerson, NTT and Dwango, ShopRite and PayNearMe. Our mobile minute with Chuck Martin examines what 77% of consumers want in return for their location data. Our app of the week is Spo.tt Messenger.