A roundup of today’s big stories in hyperlocal publishing, marketing, commerce, and technology…
Sidecar, a Ride-Hailing Start-Up, Pushes Into Package Delivery (New York Times)
Sidecar, a ride-hailing start-up, wants you to start carpooling with other people’s lunch. The company announced it plans to use its fleet of cars to introduce a package delivery service, delivering items like food and groceries for partner companies.
Brands Ignoring Local Search Are ‘Kicking Away’ the Opportunity Google Is Giving Them (Street Fight)
Street Fight recently caught up with David Mihm, the director of local search strategy at Moz, to talk about the impact of Google’s latest local search update on multi-location brands, the state of local search’s shift to mobile, and what a rash of new vertical sites means for Google.
Yelp Is Hiring A Bunch Of New Salespeople To Sell More Ads (Business Insider)
Yelp is making a big push to hire more salespeople this year. During the company’s Q4 earnings call last week, chief operating officer Geoff Donaker said Yelp plans on increasing its salesforce by around 40% in 2015.
Why So Many Local Search Sites Are Adding Business Services (Street Fight)
Joe Morsello: Strategies around SEO, listings management and SEM have long helped businesses generate clicks, calls and store visits. And while this remains true, search sites have recently begun putting more emphasis on adding tools and services that look to accelerate the purchase process.
Groupon Founder Says Company Was a ‘Stupid, Boring Idea’ (The Week)
Andrew Mason, the founder of Groupon, was ousted as the company’s CEO two years ago. That fact doesn’t seem to bother Mason, though: He now thinks Groupon was a “stupid, boring idea that just happened to resonate,” according to a new interview.
PwC Survey: Shoppers Still Pick Stores Over Online (PYMNTS)
Despite all the pressure that brick-and-mortar retailers are feeling from online and mobile commerce, physical stores are still the primary place shoppers turn to buy things, according to an annual consumer survey by PwC.
What’s In An IPO? My Experiences Through Grubhub’s Offering From Start To Finish (Mike Evans)
Mike Evans: For GrubHub, the process was even longer because we prepped twice. We started the process once, only to halt it when we reached an agreement to merge with a competitor, Seamless. Because of this, I had a unique opportunity to see several of these steps twice, with different players involved.
Eight Out Of 10 Retailers To Increase Mobile Budgets In 2015 (Mobile Marketer)
Eight out of 10 retailers in a recent survey said they plan to increase their mobile budgets by at least 20 percent in 2015. As mobile becomes a growing priority for marketers, budgets allocated to the channel are increasing.
Report: US Smartphone Penetration Now At 75 Percent (Marketing Land)
Nearly 75 percent of mobile subscribers in the US now own smartphones. In December 2013, US smartphone penetration was 65.2 percent. By December 2015 it will be above 80 percent, perhaps closing in on 85 percent.