A roundup of today’s big stories in hyperlocal publishing, marketing, commerce, and technology
McDonald’s Is Secretly Testing Its Own Order-Ahead And Payments App (BusinessInsider)
McDonald’s is quietly testing an order-ahead and mobile payment app at a tiny handful of its more than 14,000 U.S. locations. Called “McD Ordering,” the app links to a credit or debit card, which is automatically charged when a customer arrives and scans a QR code displayed at the restaurant.
At Indochino, A Retail Model Built to Order (Street Fight)
Steven Jacobs: When the founders of Indochino began to drum up strategies to enter brick-and-mortar retail, they found some surprising fat in the model: the store itself. What they came up with in response is an ephemeral alternative to offline selling that draws on some of the flexibility of ecommerce while retaining the experience of a physical presence.
Oracle Puts Micros on Menu as Restaurants Eat Up Software (Bloomberg)
Restaurants and their growing appetite for technology are now helping to spur a deals boom for providers of software and other services to the market. Oracle said it was purchasing Micros — which counts restaurants as key customers — in its biggest acquisition since its $5.7 billion takeover of Sun Microsystems in 2010.
Shopkeep Founder: Micros/Oracle Deal Won’t Help SMBs (Street Fight)
Jason Richelson: With its acquisition of Micros, Oracle is affirming its commitment to making, selling, and continually repairing outdated technology that has far outlived its usefulness. This approach, while wasteful, works for big companies with million-dollar IT budgets — but small businesses neither want nor need technology that sits in a room and takes up space.
Google Is Getting Into Domains. Should GoDaddy Worry? (Mashable)
Watch out, GoDaddy. Google is making moves on your turf. It looks like the search giant is getting into the domain registrar business; Google has a “beta” site available at domains.google.com. The service is invite-only for now, but it looks like it will provide a bevy of features typically found on registrars such as GoDaddy, Namecheap and Hover.
5 Self-Serve Solutions for Creating Location-Targeted Mobile Offers (Street Fight)
Locally-targeted mobile ads are expected to reach $4.5 billion in the U.S. this year — an increase of $1.6 billion in the last year alone. As merchants search for creative ways to take advantage of location-targeted advertising, many are turning toward self-serve solutions for creating location-based mobile promotions.
Chicago’s Street Lights Will Collect Data on Weather and How Many People Walk By (Slate)
In Chicago, decorative metal pieces on Michigan Avenue street lights are being fitted with sensors that will measure things like air quality and wind, while also counting passersby. Starting in July, the hidden sensors will use the wireless signals from cellphones and other mobile devices to count people going by.
App That Lets Users Sell Public Parking Spots Is Told to Shut Down (Wired)
With the arrival of Monkey Parking–an app that lets parking-space squatters auction their prized curb space to drivers weary of circling the block–startups are now making it possible to “share” things you don’t own in the first place. Now, San Francisco City Attorney Dennis Herrera has now demanded that Monkey Parking stop operating in the city.
Groupon to Acquire Canadian Grocery Smartphone App SnapSaves (Globe and Mail)
Daily deals website Groupon says it has purchased SnapSaves, a Canadian-made couponing app that launched last year. With the app, shoppers can snap a picture of their grocery receipt and receive money back on selected items through a cheque in the mail.