A roundup of today’s big stories in hyperlocal content, commerce, and technology
Amazon Is Going To Start Delivering Groceries in New York City In 2014, Says Analyst (Business Insider)
Amazon is working towards launching Amazon Fresh, its grocery delivery service, in the New York City area for 2014, says analyst Robert Peck of SunTrust Robinson Humphrey. Amazon is working towards launching Amazon Fresh, its grocery delivery service, in the New York City area for 2014, says analyst Robert Peck of SunTrust Robinson Humphrey.
Groupon Names Lefkofsky CEO as Business Rebounds (Street Fight)
Groupon’s search for a new chief executive ended Wednesday evening with a familiar name: Eric Lefkofsky. During an earnings call Wednesday, the company announced that the firm’s long-time executive chairman, who has shared the leadership duties with Ted Leonisis since the company fired founder Andrew Mason in February, will take on the full responsibilities as CEO. “Everything we do is with local in mind,” Lefkofsky stressed during the earnings call.
In-Store Tech Is So Hot Right Now: Sephora Acquires Fragrance Software Startup Scentsa (AllThingsD)
While a lot of young commerce-related companies are focused on e-commerce, smart retail folks realize that there’s also great opportunity for tech innovation inside brick-and-mortar stores. Louis Vuitton-owned beauty retailer Sephora is trying to do the latter, and has acquired young software startup Scentsa to continue to invest in in-store digital products.
AOL’s Armstrong: 1/3 of Patch Sites Currently Have ‘Viable Business Model’ (Street Fight)
On an earnings call Wednesday, AOL’s CEO Tim Armstrong said that the remaining 600 or so sites are split between properties that are on their way to viability, and sites that will likely not reach profitability by the end of the year. The news comes as AOL works to bring the closely-watched hyperlocal media network to run-rate profitability by the end of 2013, a commitment that Armstrong says the company still plans to meet.
Smartphone Owners Turn to Local TV News Apps (eMarketer)
As local digital news becomes a more competitive space—with Google showing signs of venturing into the market, alongside longstanding local news outlets and Patch.com’s network of sites—mobile is becoming an increasingly important place where consumers look to get their local news fill. More than one in four surveyed adult US smartphone owners said they had a news app from a local TV station installed on their phone in 2013.
‘Understanding the Reader’ and the Bottom Line: Do They Connect? (Street Fight)
Google’s beta testing of aggregated community news for its recently launched smartphone app Now (“the right information at just the right time”) got some big “hmmm” headlines last week. But is this Google experiment bringing any fear and trembling to community news and information sites?
Latest Mobile Operating System Tracks User’s Location Even When Wi-Fi Is Switched Off (DailyMail)
Google’s latest Android phone operating system has revealed a feature that will scan for networks and track user’s locations even when Wi-Fi has been turned off. The code used to build Android 4.3 claims that ‘to improve location accuracy and for other purposes, Google and other apps may scan for nearby networks even when Wi-Fi is off.’
Case Study: Restaurant Chain Uses Mobile Promotions to Reach Millennials (Street Fight)
Homestyle Dining Chief Marketing Officer Jon Rice knew that implementing a sweepstakes program across all of his company’s 142 Bonanza and Ponderosa steakhouse franchises would be a logistical challenge. So he opted to partner with Front Flip, a mobile engagement and loyalty platform, to generate excitement, boost engagement, and gain more insight about his guests.
Groupon Has More “Speed … Care … Focus” Under Lefkofsky, Ted Leonsis Says (AllThingsD)
“We did interview search firms and we started the process but we never got into the market,” Groupon Chairman Ted Leonsis told AllThingsD in an interview. “It was just apparent to the board that Eric was the right guy. “The business was functioning with much more speed and diligence and care and focus and we thought we had the right man for the job.”
ZOZI Acquires Real-Time Reservation System TripFlavor, Launches Booking And CRM Service For Activity Merchants (TechCrunch)
Zozi, the online service that focuses on deals for high-end outdoor adventures and activities, today announced that it has acquired the real-time reservation system TripFlavor. Zozi, which recently closed a $10 million funding round, is already using TripFlavor’s technology to power its new Zozi Advance real-time booking, scheduling, payments and customer relation management platform for activity merchants, which also launched today.
Spotsetter’s Social Approach To Search Helps You Know Where To Go (VentureBeat)
Spotsetter culls information from Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Foursqure, as well as information from public review sites like local blogs Yelp and TripAdvisor. The mobile app presents users with local options based on places their friends like. You can label your friends with tags like “foodie,” “nightlife ninja,” and “savvy shopper,” and their picks will get sent to the top of your search rankings.