A roundup of today’s big stories in hyperlocal content, commerce, and technology
Apple Buys 2 Mapping Companies (New York Times)
Apple said on Friday that it had bought the two small companies, HopStop and Locationary, giving Apple more expertise in an area where it has struggled. HopStop is an application that can be used to get directions within cities and shows real-time traffic delays. The other start-up, Locationary, is based in Toronto and specializes in maps and mapping data, according to its Web site.
Winning in Local Commerce Means Solving the Data Issues in Discovery (Street Fight)
The acceleration in the local consumer’s purchase cycle means that each layer of the the Local Stack of online-to-offline local commerce — find, buy, retrieve and engage — must fuse together and work to create a seamless local commerce experience. In the “find” layer, local search properties have expanded beyond point-of-interest data, investing in the rich content needed to help consumers make purchase decisions before leaving businesses’ sites.
Coupon Site RetailMeNot’s IPO Soars 32% in First Day (Wall Street Journal)
Online coupon site RetailMeNot soared 32% in its first day of trading Friday after pricing its initial offering at $21 a share. RetailMeNot aggregates digital coupons from all manner of retailers and posts them on its website and smartphone application. The company collects commissions from the retailers after a shopper makes a purchase with one of the digital coupons.
6 Tools Restaurants Can Use for Better Guest Intelligence (Street Fight)
By the time a guest walks through the front doors at Ping Pong Dim Sum in Washington D.C., marketing manager Myca Ferrer can already be fairly certain what he or she will order. Ferrer isn’t psychic, but he is using a guest intelligence platform to gain a deeper understanding of his most frequent customers. By tracking preferences and payment histories, Ping Pong Dim Sum is better able to offer VIP service to its most loyal diners.
Facebook Is Testing a Feature That Can Track Customers’ Physical Movements at Businesses (Terra)
Facebook has quietly been testing a new feature to help brick-and-mortar businesses engage with customers on their smartphones and give them more insight into customer habits. According to the Facebook Help Center, smartphone users who connect to a network that has Facebook Wi-Fi activated will be automatically redirected to the business’ Facebook page.
After Waze, What Else Can Mobile Crowdsourcing Do? (AllThingsD)
Google spent $1.1 billion to buy the mapping startup Waze last month, a deal that the Federal Trade Commission is still investigating. And while Google won’t be swapping out its flagship Google Maps in favor of its sassy new step-sibling Waze anytime soon, one thing is certain: The jumbo acquisition is a clear validation of mobile crowdsourcing.
Dropbox Acquires Shopping Loyalty Appmaker Endorse (TechCrunch)
About a month after it shut down its app, mobile coupon startup Endorse has been acquired by Dropbox, the team announced on its blog today. The deal follows a number of other recent acquisitions Dropbox has been making, as it looks to add headcount in an increasingly constrained talent market.
The Elusive Effort to Create a Definitive Local Database (Screenwerk)
Greg Sterling: One of many paradoxes about the Internet, in the context of SMB marketing, is that for all its promise of “accountability,” efficiency and “transparency,” the Internet has created mostly confusion and frustration among business owners. There are too many channels, too many solutions and too many vendors with competing claims.