Street FIght Daily: Shopkick Hits Profitability, Groupon Expands Reporting

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A roundup of today’s big stories in hyperlocal content, commerce, and technology.

61158_10151088174854856_1226977643_aShopkick Says It’s Now Profitable, With Its Shopping App Adding $200M In Sales For Target, Best Buy and Others In 2012 (TechCrunch)
At a time when many startups still shy away from talk of business models, Shopkick has done something else: it’s reached profitability. While Shopkick still declines to talk about total sales or just how profitable it is, it also revealed that in 2012 its deals led to over $200 million in revenue for its merchant and brand partners.

Jim Brady on Building Engagement and ‘Stacking Digital Dimes (Street Fight)
The TBD vet and Digital First Media editor-in-chief says that hyperlocal media must fill two roles for the reader. It has to be a water cooler — a place where people come to engage with news in a community — and an ATM, a utility connecting readers with actionable information.

Groupon Unveils Merchant Impact Report, a Free Service So Merchants Can Justify Their Deal Performance (The Next Web)
Groupon has launched a new free tool for businesses called the Merchant Impact Report that provides businesses that participate with the daily deals company reporting on how well their deal is performing, gain customer insights, and review a profit calculator. Groupon says that it’s letting local businesses work out their campaign profitability — something that hasn’t been available “through other marketing/advertising mediums.”

For Hyperlocals, How Long the Roller-Coaster Ride? (Street Fight)
Tom Grubisich: On Jan. 10, there was the good news in the Borrell Associates 2013 projection for an increase of 31% in ad spending in the local digital space. But even as the outlook seems brighter for local online, that same day also brought the news that highly regarded hyperlocal editor and publisher Mike Fourcher would be leaving the helm of his two neighborhood sites in Chicago.

AOL’s Patch to Go From Lousy Local News Network to Even Worse Community Message Board network (PandoDaily)
Sarah Lacy: So Patch is going from a bad version of something the journalism world desperately needs to something no one needs – more community message boards. Just kill it already and make Wall Street happy. What decade is this anyway?

Think Context Not Platforms, Says Google’s Tim Reis (Street Fight)
While 2012 was mobile’s breakout year, Tim Reis, head of mobile and social solutions at Google, urged marketers to move this year beyond platforms and instead focus on context during a morning keynote at the Street Fight Summit on Wednesday. “Consumers are very comfortable across [multiple] platforms; they don’t silo these activities,” said Reis.

Can Pay Walls Work for Hyperlocal Business News Sites? (PBS Media Shift)
Canada’s largest newspaper company is launching two hyper-local business sites in a bid to duplicate the success of one of Canada’s only profitable online news operations. The content can only be read with a paid subscription, and each subscription can be accessed by up to three people.

Making Data Work for Hyperlocal Media (Street Fight)
In the wake of the Journatic scandal, the role of automation in hyperlocal publishing remains uncertain. Leaders from top hyperlocal media companies addressed the issue during a panel at Street Fight Summit on Wednesday. They discussed how use of data is affecting media today and the way it can make scale possible tomorrow.

What Does FB (Graph) Search Mean for Local? (Screenwerk)
If Facebook’s execution is successful and the UX is good then the local search market may consolidate around Google, Facebook, Yelp and to some degree Apple in mobile. Vertical and niche sites/apps will remain viable and perhaps continue to thrive, but “thin” horizontal local sites could effectively be done.

Case Study: New Loyalty Program Connects ‘Wichcraft With Customers (Street Fight)
After years of using paper punch cards to promote loyalty at its 16 locations, ‘Wichcraft is going digital with a mobile loyalty program. By tying customer phone numbers to ‘Wichcraft’s POS system, director of marketing Ellen Kim hopes to send targeted promotions based on individual purchase histories and build more intimate relationships with ‘Wichcraft’s most frequent customers.

Local Marketing In 2013: The 10 Key Trends To Watch (Forbes)
Court Cunningham: Mobile marketing boomed and daily deals lost their hype last year, leaving many local business owners asking “what do I do next?” Going into 2013, I foresee new products, industry consolidation, and new entrants into the social, local and mobile markets. Here are 10 local marketing predictions.

Yelp to Add Health Inspection Data to Restaurant Listings in San Francisco, New York (The Next Web)
Yelp has added a new metric to restaurant listings — hygiene scores — providing businesses with a way of advertising their cleanliness and giving potential customers additional piece of mind. The company has teamed up with San Francisco authorities to import restaurant hygiene scores from the city.

ChowNow Raises $3M To Provide A Facebook And Mobile Food Ordering Platform For Restaurants (TechCrunch)
ChowNow, an online ordering platform built for mobile and Facebook, has raised $3 million from GRP Partners. With ChowNow’s offering, restaurants can individually customize and brand their ordering apps on Facebook and mobile.

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