A roundup of today’s big stories in hyperlocal publishing, marketing, commerce, and technology…
Groupon Replaces CEO Eric Lefkofsky with COO Rich Williams (Recode)
Groupon’s board of directors has voted to replace co-founder Eric Lefkofsky as CEO with Rich Williams, the company’s COO. Lefkofsky will return to his previous role as chairman of the board, with current chair Ted Leonsis sliding into an independent director position. Williams, who was Groupon’s CMO for his first three-plus years at the company, plans to increase marketing spend to attract new users.
Slack’s Newest Feature Lets You Call a Lyft (Fast Company)
Slack has announced slash commands, simple, one-line queries that let users run a search or make a request from a third-party service without leaving the Slack interface. These commands have long been available, but today their installation gets much easier. If, for example, you are planning a lunch outing, you can use Foursquare to find a spot. Need to haul everyone there? Just ask Lyft to bring you a car.
Q3 Earnings Roundup: Shift to Mobile Presents Commerce Challenge for Yelp, Angie’s List, Groupon (Street Fight)
Consumers are spending more time on their mobile devices than ever, a shift that is affecting both traditional and digital businesses. Recent earnings reports from Yelp, Angie’s List, and Groupon indicate that some of these publicly traded local mainstays are handling the transition better than others, particularly in effectively combining content, commerce, and services.
The Artist Formerly Known as Ecommerce (Venture Inside)
Kara Nortman: I feel like investors and entrepreneurs are doing themselves a disservice by bucketing all types of companies that sell stuff online into the same catch-all category of “ecommerce.” As a VC, I am trying to challenge myself to a higher level of intellectual rigor when I evaluate what I used to call ecommerce and engage in a more nuanced conversation around the levers that will drive growth, margin, and sustainability.
Zenchef CEO: The Restaurant Tech Sector Is Booming (Street Fight)
French company Zenchef, which offers an all-in-one marketing solution for restaurants, has taken on the challenge of uniting thousands of European eateries on one platform. With 2,500 customers in France, Spain, and the UK, and plans to expand to Germany, Italy, Portugal, and Turkey in 2016, co-founder and CEO Xavier Zeitoun said “the key in this market is distribution.”
OfferUp Takes On Craigslist with War Chest and Mobile Strategy (New York Times)
OfferUp is a fast-growing alternative to Craigslist that is innovating in areas long neglected by its much bigger rival, like mobile. After a period of lying low, OfferUp has begun to talk publicly about the growth of its local marketplace and the war chest it has built up to take on Craigslist.
Retailers Struggle Getting Ecommerce Goods to Customers, Study Says (Wall Street Journal)
A survey of over 1,000 online U.S.-based shoppers shows that, of 35 percent who opted to buy online and pick up goods in-store, half encountered problems getting their purchases. This is a surprisingly high failure rate for a strategy meant to offset the high costs of ecommerce.
Amazon Dash May Be the Future of Consumerism — But Should It Be? (Recode)
Bobby Emamian: The Dash Button is automating consumerism. This is an incredibly promising merger of the Internet of Things and commerce. It enables brands to seep further and further into consumers’ homes, and it has the potential to forever revolutionize how goods are bought and sold. But it’s not perfect.
Etsy Plunges to All-time Low After Earnings (Business Insider)
Etsy shares slipped to an all-time low after the company reported third-quarter earnings on Tuesday. After Amazon launched its rival “Amazon Handmade” last month, analysts said sellers could shift their items over, and that would dilute revenue growth.