A roundup of today’s big stories in hyperlocal publishing, marketing, commerce, and technology…
Yelp Launches New Feature for Asking and Answering Questions About Any Business (TechCrunch)
Yelp is releasing a new feature with the simple, self-explanatory name Questions and Answers. Users can upvote and downvote the answers based on how helpful they are, and they can also sign up for notifications whenever a specific question gets answered.
Where Home Phone Convenience Will Meet the Intelligence of Voice-Assisted Search (Street Fight)
Mark Sullivan: Similar to the shift from desktop to mobile, local marketers need to consider how the shift to voice-activated devices will impact their strategy. While much is yet to be sorted out, the smart home hub will inevitably offer a new device on which consumers will interact with local business information.
How VR Headsets Will Infiltrate the Market and Impact Advertising (MediaPost)
By 2021, the virtual reality market is expected to grow to $64 billion and VR advertising and related revenue will account for a ‘significant’ part of that, according to ABI.
As E-Commerce Looks for a Local Edge, In-Person Return Services Expand (Street Fight)
This morning e-commerce fashion marketplace Tradesy is announcing an extended partnership with Happy Returns, a consumer returns startup that offers in-person returns for online retailers. Tradesy found that customers overwhelmingly preferred to return their online purchases in-person rather than by mail.
Retailers Are Testing Price Increases Online (eMarketer)
Prices for just about everything sold online have been under pressure for years, especially after factoring in discounts and promotions. But there are some early signs that retailers may be raising prices, or at least not budging as much when it comes to offering discounts.
Uber Drivers Renting through ZipCar in Boston Will Make Less than Local Minimum Wage (Quartz)
Alison Griswold: Since the typical Uber driver in Boston makes about $20 an hour, per Uber’s own data, the most anyone could reasonably expect to make from the Zipcar arrangement is $8 an hour. In Massachusetts, that’s well below the $11 minimum wage.
Jaguar and Shell Launch In-Car App for Cashless Gas Station Payments (VentureBeat)
British automotive brand Jaguar Land Rover has announced what it is touting as the “world’s first” in-car payment system that lets drivers fuel up their vehicles and pay through the car’s touchscreen.
A Window Is Opening to Give Publishers Control Over Their Audiences (AdExchanger)
James Curran: There are two opportunities emerging in the market that can help publishers regain control over their audiences with enhanced automation: the formation of a shared first-party ID from Digitrust and server-side header bidding.