A roundup of today’s big stories in hyperlocal publishing, marketing, commerce, and technology…
Uber, Lifting Financial Veil, Says Sales Growth is Outpacing Losses (Bloomberg)
Uber said its revenue growth is outpacing losses, hoping to show the business is on a strong trajectory as it attempts to address a recent cascade of scandals. Quartz: Uber is shutting down UberRush.
Frustration With Digital Marketing Vendors Boils Over for One SMB (Street Fight)
Mihm and Blumenthal: If it’s possible to distill the 30 million small business owners in the U.S. into a single persona, Marc Reisner strikes our columnists as a great candidate: “Marc has been disillusioned by past performance and that poor performance has understandably tarred the entire industry with the same brush.”
Walmart is in Advanced Talks to Acquire Online Men’s Retailer Bonobos (Recode)
Walmart’s acquisition streak under new e-commerce chief Marc Lore continues. The world’s largest brick-and-mortar retailer is in advanced discussions to acquire Bonobos, a 10-year-old men’s fashion retailer based in New York City.
7 Ways That Brands Can Make Chatbot Conversations More Authentic (Street Fight)
Chatbots are transforming the customer experience and quickly moving into new sectors — but before marketers can expect conversation-mimicking software and artificial intelligence to replace live customer service representatives, they’ll need to find ways to overcome some consumer obstacles.
From ‘Zombie Malls’ to Bonobos: America’s Retail Transformation (New York Times)
Physical temples to commerce remain, but today the online experience is rapidly changing our relationship with shopping. In the last three months of 2016, Americans spent $102.7 billion in online sales, which was 8.3 percent of the overall total of $1.24 trillion in retail sales.
Instagram Powers Taco Bell’s Innovation Machine (Business Insider)
In many ways, social media platforms like Instagram are powering Taco Bell’s innovation engine and determining what’s on the fast-food chain’s menu.
The Winner of the Meal Kit Market Won’t Be a Meal Kit Company After All (TechCrunch)
Lora Kolodny: Somewhat embarrassingly, it looks like meal kit companies need to emulate the brick-and-mortar groceries and online retailers they once criticized for overwhelming shoppers with choices. To go truly mainstream, they need to diversify their offerings.
Ahead of F8, Developers Talk the Future of Bots on Facebook Messenger (VentureBeat)
It’s been a year of bots on Messenger, and while, to be fair, economic ecosystems aren’t built overnight, few of the most ambitious visions of bots on Messenger have come to pass.