A roundup of today’s big stories in hyperlocal content, commerce, and technology
Facebook Ditches Physical Gifts To Double-Down On Digital Codes And Its Own Brick-&-Mortar Gift Card (TechCrunch)
Facebook Gifts is getting a major redesign that will end sales of physical gifts. It will now focus on suggesting you buy friends digital gift codes or Facebook’s omni-Gift Card credit to spend at brands and local businesses they Like, which now get their own Gifts landing page. These two types of Gifts made up 80% of sales, cost less to ship and support, so it makes sense to invest in them in the rollout coming the next few weeks.
What’s Apple’s Mapping Shopping Spree Really About? (Street Fight)
Michael Boland: Moreso than the features, Apple’s post-Mapgate acquisitions are all about what’s behind the scenes in this age of big data. This goes back to what a lot of people don’t realize about Apple Maps: it’s is actually a pretty slick mapping tool. But what it has in dazzle, it lacks data; things like place listings, navigation and public transit.
Why Yahoo and Apple Want Foursquare’s Data (Fast Company)
Austin Carr: This week, BuzzFeed reported that Yahoo was in talks with Foursquare about a possible data-sharing deal. The news comes just months after Apple senior VP Eddy Cue was said to be in discussions with Foursquare to integrate its location data into the Apple’s mapping service. Why does Foursquare suddenly seem to be a hot commodity again, after so many assumed the startup was down for the count?
6 Tools for Targeting Brand Influencer Look-Alikes (Street Fight)
The type of word-of-mouth marketing that once took place inside coffee shops and around water coolers has moved online, as “brand influencers” — social media users with a significant reach — play an increasingly important role for companies of all sizes. Here are six tools that companies can use to identify and target “look-alike” consumers.
Without Seamless, Fewer Customers and Higher Margins (Bloomberg Businessweek)
Earlier this month, Pedro Muñoz told customers that his restaurant, Luz, would no longer use popular online food-delivery service Seamless because the site took a 14 percent commission and waited too long—more than a month, a lifetime in the overhead-heavy restaurant business—to give Luz its cut. The result: the drop in orders was offset by the higher margins, netting roughly the same revenue with less work.
The ‘Goldilocks’ Geofence: 1 – 2 Miles (Screenwerk)
Greg Sterling: In the most recent JiWire “Insights” report, the company found that consumers were most engaged with mobile ads shown within two miles of a business location (although not across the board). The study found that there was a 42% improvement or lift in mobile ad “performance” when ads were shown near but not too close to specific businesses, echoing a Q3 2012 finding from YP that reflected the highest CTR was also in the 1 – 2 mile range.
Groupon’s Last Great Hope (Crain’s Chicago Business)
Under Mr. Lefkofsky, Groupon slowly is losing its reputation as the gang that can’t shoot straight. Morale is improving, insiders say, and turnover is slowing. The company’s financials appear headed in the right direction—second-quarter revenue topped expectations, and profit didn’t disappoint—though there’s a lot more work to do.
Customer Stalking, Coming Soon To A Store Near You (PandoDaily)
With Synqera, consumers check in at the front door by swiping their rewards card in a machine called a loyalty generator, which prints out customized coupons, food recipes, store maps, or other items. Then as the person shops, they pass digital screens called simplates which can tell the shoppers’ age, gender, and mood. The simplate triggers demographic ads targeted at the specific shopper nearest to it.
With 70M Places Plotted, Gil Elbaz’s Factual Has Laid The Foundation For The Web’s Location Layer (TheNextWeb)
Gil Elbaz changed the face of online advertising by co-creating AdSense over 10 years ago. In his latest endeavor, he’s aiming to transform mobile advertising with Factual, a data science startup that operates a location platform used by companies like Apple, Samsung, Yelp, Bing and Tripadvisor.
Bricks and Mortar Is Back, Baby — And Same-day Delivery Service Is The Reason (VentureBeat)
Michael Hart: Same-day delivery is about a simple premise: Give customers an outstanding experience and they will come back. Part of an outstanding experience is convenience, another part is affordability. This approach is also the key to industry disruption. Partnering same-day delivery with equal cost to other delivery options is a one-two punch against the status quo of delivery delay that consumers resent today.