A roundup of today’s big stories in hyperlocal publishing, marketing, commerce, and technology
Oracle Said to Near Deal to Buy Micros Systems (Bloomberg)
Oracle is nearing a deal to buy Micros Systems for more than $5 billion, people familiar with the matter said, as Chief Executive Officer Larry Ellison moves to combat slowing growth by adding software for hotels and restaurants. Based in Columbia, Maryland, Micros sells software and services for hotels, restaurants, and retailers.
When the ‘Popup’ Store Sticks Around (Street Fight)
Steven Jacobs: Retailers from art galleries to apparel manufacturers have started to rethink their sprawling storefronts. Instead, companies have turned to smaller, more specialized locations that that can adapt to declining store revenues while addressing some new opportunities in selling to a connected consumer.
Yelp Gives Customers The Ability To Send Messages To Businesses (MarketingLand)
Yelp, the review site created to enable people to talk about local businesses, is giving customers the ability to communicate with restaurants and shopkeepers more directly. The new feature, available for all businesses who have claimed their free business owner’s account, places a messaging link in a business’ contact information.
A Local Business Network Puts the Community First (Street Fight)
Patrick Kitano: The expanding public consciousness around movements for civic sustainability, green tech and social enterprise have spawned a new way of looking a local business communities as ecosystems that should work for the community good. Their unique challenge is coordinating hundreds of local advocates to collectively market and promote each others’ programs and campaigns.
Microsoft Shuttering Bing Ads Express (SearchEngineLand)
Bing Ads Express, Microsoft’s program to encourage small businesses to adopt the paid search platform, will be sunsetted this summer. Launched just last October and modeled on Google’s own AdWords Express, the program was designed to simplify and automate paid search advertising across the Yahoo Bing Network.
TaskRabbit is Blowing Up Its Business Model and Becoming the Uber for Everything (Verge)
TaskRabbit realized that radical change was needed: it decided to blow up the auction house in favor of a service that looks less like eBay and more like Uber. When the new system goes live next month, users will find a landing page that steers them to the platform’s four most popular types of service: handyman, house cleaning, moving, and personal assistants.
eBay Launches “eBay Valet,” An iPhone App That Does The Selling For You (TechCrunch)
eBay today is expanding its lesser-known eBay Sell For Me service to mobile with the launch of a new app called eBay Valet, which promises to let eBay do the selling for you. That is, it takes every step of the selling process — from determining an item’s value to listing it online to shipping it when sold – and handles it for you.
Finance Guru Says Uber Valuation Should be $6 Billion, Not $17 Billion (Skift)
Valuation guru Aswath Damodaran says Uber’s $17 valuation is almost entirely driven by the “narrative” from a small set of investors in its latest funding round and should more likely be around $6 billion. Damodaran pegs the global taxi market at $100 billion, and that doesn’t count markets such as logistics that Uber talks about entering.
The Great iBeacon Rollout: 100 Stores on One Street (MediaPost)
Interestingly, we may soon see if a better model for beacons is for retailers to be aggregated by someone else and packaged as a whole for mobile shoppers. That is precisely what’s happening on the mile-long Regent Street, the Fifth Avenue of London, where beacons are sending messages to shoppers as they walk by.
WPP Taps Factual For Location-Based Data (MediaPost)
WPP’s The Data Alliance, and Factual, a location data platform, on Tuesday announced a partnership that will allow WPP companies to use Factual’s location-based data. WPP’s hope is to up its mobile game through the addition of Factual’s data.