A roundup of today’s big stories in hyperlocal publishing, marketing, commerce, and technology…
Groupon Launches New Merchant App That Puts the Daily Deal Front and Center (TechCrunch)
For years, Groupon has been expanding its business beyond the daily deal to position itself as the platform for local commerce. Some of those efforts have proven to be more challenging than others. As Groupon now downsizes in less-profitable areas, it’s also making a return to products that are tried, tested and lucrative. The latest example: The company has announced a revamped and expanded Merchant platform.
Yodle Weighs In on How Google’s SERP Change Has Affected Online Ads for SMBs (Street Fight)
Greg Aponte, Yodle Vice President of Paid Product Performance, Product, and Marketing: With a few weeks of empirical data, we now have a much clearer sense of how or if this change has affected local AdWords campaigns. At Yodle, we have seen a negligible effect on the performance metrics of the search engine marketing campaigns we run on behalf of our local small business clients.
Google Introduces Products That Will Sharpen Its Ad Focus (New York Times)
Google’s skills in tracking people, figuring out desires, and placing ads revolutionized the world of marketing. Now it’s adding even more muscle to its ad business, introducing a package of products aimed at helping companies more efficiently figure out what potential customers are interested in and how to sell things to them.
How Badly Do Consumers Want Grocery Delivery? (Street Fight)
Todd Wasserman, Street Fight contributor: Instacart is bumping up against the realities of the economy. There are two countervailing trends that are working against the idea of grocery delivery: frugality, and shopping-as-entertainment.
Yelp’s Founder Once Thought No One Would Want to Post Opinions on the Internet (Chicago Tribune)
After 11 years and 100 million reviews, Yelp has taken one of the most intimate interactions, the personal recommendation, and made it the foundation of a global company. Along the way, it benefited from some of tech’s most disruptive trends, like location data and the shift to mobile.
Google Is Making Ride-Sharing a Huge Part of Maps (The Verge)
Google Maps makes it easy for users to compare different ways of getting around: driving a car, taking public transportation, walking, or cycling. Now Google is giving ride-sharing its very own tab in Maps. It’s a valuable piece of real estate for Uber and the other companies (five new partners across five countries) that are being added.
How Retailers Will Survive in the Amazon Era (Fast Company)
About one of every three product searches begins at Amazon. Just think about what this means for other retailers — a third of their potential customers are starting at their competitors’ front door, leaving them clamoring for scraps and losing costly acquisition dollars to the likes of Google and, increasingly, Facebook. In these conditions, what does the future hold for retailers large and small?
Uber Launches Standalone Food Delivery App in 4 U.S. Cities (GeekWire)
Uber has debuted its much-anticipated standalone UberEATS food delivery app in four U.S. cities: Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, and San Francisco. Up until now, Uber only offered select lunch deliveries. With this separate app, customers will be able to pick from full menus at hundreds of different restaurants for different times of day, rather than just the curated meals offered by the original lunch service.
Marketers Think Location Data Is Important, But Don’t Trust It (MediaPost)
Some 75 percent of marketers say they think location-based marketing is important for their business, but only 65 percent of them think it’s accurate. Marketers plan to spend more on location this year, but the data need to be standardized, made anonymous, and verified before it can truly be useable.
Transit Study Calls for Uber and Cities to Come Together (Wall Street Journal)
A recently published study from the American Public Transportation Association calls for greater cooperation between cities and ride-hailing companies like Uber and Lyft. The report recommends that the companies share more of their data with city transit agencies. “A ‘walled garden’ model will not work for ridesourcing companies and other private operators if they expect to take part in a wider mobility ecosystem,” the authors wrote. “Public transit operators, planners, and researchers need this data to understand how people are moving.”