A roundup of today’s big stories in hyperlocal publishing, marketing, commerce, and technology
Square’s New Way to Make Cash: An Order-Ahead Option (Recode)
Square has announced a new feature that will allow businesses using its point-of-sale software to let their customers place pick-up orders online through the merchant’s Square Market online store. Eventually, customers will be able to place these orders through a new Square mobile app to be released in the near future.
Five Trends That Will Shape the Future of Local Commerce (Street Fight)
Kenny Grant: Two decades after the first ecommerce site, the commerce landscape has begun to shift again. Over the past few years, we’ve seen a resurgence in innovation around mobile as technology companies develop new ways to bridge the gap between ecommerce and offline spending. Here are five trends, which will shape the future of commerce over the next decade.
Airbnb Faces Near-Ban In San Francisco (Huffington Post)
Home-sharing supporters gathered outside San Francisco City Hall Tuesday to protest a proposal they said would nearly outlaw short-term housing rentals in the city offered by websites like Airbnb and VRBO. The initiative would restrict short-term rentals to neighborhoods with commercial zoning, require permission from landlords or homeowners associations, create insurance requirements and reward tipsters who inform on hosts scoffing the rules.
Sponsored: Relevant Content or Privacy — Choose Both (Street Fight)
The challenge many publishers face is how to increase ad inventory value through personalized ads without exposing sensitive, personally identifiable data and violating user privacy. There are 3 main ways that publishers can extend their access to sharable, ad-request-friendly user data, but only one of them provides both consumer privacy and the ability to increase ad inventory value.
Intuit in Talks to Buy Mobile-Finance App Check (Wall Street Journal)
Intuit is in talks to acquire bill-payment service Check for more than $350 million, according to two people familiar the situation. Check would become the latest tech startup snapped up by Intuit as the finance-software maker expands its suite of tools for individuals and small businesses through acquisition.
Case Study: Toy Store Upgrades Customer Experience With mPOS System (Street Fight)
Managing the operations, staffing, and financials at his growing after-market Lego business has left John Masek with little time to spend dealing with the technological infrastructure necessary to run a traditional hardware point-of-sale system. Mobile POS systems with integrated rewards programs can give mom-and-pop businesses an edge against large retail chains.
Home Improvement Network Porch Extends Its Partnership With Lowe’s To All U.S. Stores (TechCrunch)
Porch.com aggregates historical home improvement data about millions of U.S. homes, which allows it to tell you information about who the most popular contractors in your neighborhood are or even what kind of work a previous owner did on the house you want to buy. The company will extend a limited partnership with Lowe’s to turn a resource for Lowe’s employees to help their customers find professionals for services the chain itself doesn’t currently offer.
Lyft and Uber Price Wars Leave Some Drivers Feeling Crunched (Recode)
What was once a manageable side gig for many drivers to make ends meet has turned into a frustration as the two services fight for market share. Stung by price pressure from its better-funded competitor Uber, the peer-to-peer ride-sharing service Lyft lost business in key markets to its rival over the past few months.
Serve Customers In Their Mobile Moments — Or Watch While Someone Else Does (Wall Street Journal)
Ted Shadler: Every successful interaction reinforces the idea that whatever our problem, a mobile device gives us a solution — or it should if a company is doing its job properly. The result of all this positive reinforcement is a Pavlovian response: We feel a need, no matter how fleeting, so we tap an app to satisfy it.
Verticalize or Die? YP Pushes Back (Screenwerk)
Greg Sterling: On the one hand Google has won the “name and number” horizontal lookup game. On the other verticals are “eating” general directories and local search sites. Publishers and sales channels need to specialize and verticalize to compete or be picked off by deeper and more focused competitors.