A roundup of today’s big stories in hyperlocal content, commerce, and technology
McDonald’s Testing Mobile Order App for U.S. Stores (Business Insider)
McDonald’s is currently testing a mobile payment application in Salt Lake City and in Austin, Texas, Lisa McComb, a spokeswoman, said today in an e-mail. After ordering via a mobile phone, customers can pick up food in stores, curbside or at drive-thru windows, according to notes from a June meeting of McDonald’s franchisees and company executives.
Daily Voice Reports First ‘Unit’ Profitability (With an Asterisk) (Street Fight)
Tom Grubisich: The regional hyperlocal news network Daily Voice says it has recorded its first “unit” profitability for operations covering its 41 sites in the hotly competitive suburban Connecticut and New York market. The profit — which does not include corporate costs — was a tiny $2,000 for August, according to CEO Carll Tucker. But it comes after the company burned through $18 million in four years and experienced near-death six months ago.
Maybe Showrooming Isn’t Killing Retailers After All (Businessweek)
Despite the anxieties of retail executives, the ‘showrooming’ phenomenon might not be as rife as it’s made out to be. Only about 6 percent of people using a smartphone while in a store at any given time are planning to take their commerce to the Internet, according to a study to be released later today by Columbia Business School. And only about half of them are using their phones to price-check.
Conference Notebook: As Legacy Media Struggles to Adapt, Startups Shift to Software (Street Fight)
During BIA/Kelsey’s Leading in Local event in Austin Wednesday, executives from local media and yellow pages companies spoke about the challenge in weaning these companies off still-profitable, but doomed businesses, toward a higher-risk-and-lower-margin future.
SMB Twitter Followers Show Devotion (eMarketer)
When social media users follow a small or medium-sized business on Twitter, there’s a good chance they’re especially disposed to that business, and their likelihood of purchasing a product from that SMB is particularly high, according to a survey. More than seven out of 10 polled SMB followers in the US and UK said they became more disposed to purchasing from an SMB after following the company on Twitter.
No Reservations: Now’s the Time for Last-Minute Hotel Apps (Bloomberg)
The hotel industry is torn over this last-minute and mobile booking trend. On the one hand, mobile booking is likely to make up a significant proportion of business, and last-minute deals also help rent out rooms that would otherwise sit empty. But the move to mobile also probably means that a greater proportion of sales will be filtered through an intermediary that will take a cut.
Groupon Continues Rebound, Stock Hits 52-Week High (Crain’s Chicago Business)
After hitting a yearly high, the company is getting a lift from a lack of drama and problems, and it’s benefited from a steady stream of positive comments from analysts, such as Deutsche Bank’s Ross Sandler, who met with Groupon executives this week. Groupon also continues to add capability through acquisition, including this week’s purchase of Blink, a hotel-booking app in Europe.
Estimote Details iOS 7 iBeacon Support For Its Contextual Proximity Shopping Devices (TechCrunch)
Estimote, a Y Combinator graduate and Hardware Alley exhibitor here at TechCrunch Disrupt SF 2013, was able to talk about something today that it’s never been able to before: how its product will work with Apple’s new iBeacon tech in iOS 7. The company creates a rock-shaped device which uses Bluetooth low energy to allow a retailer to do things like communicate deals to shoppers based on which aisle they’re in or by letting them even send a payment token from a smartphone.
Yelp Triples The Search Filters On Its iOS App (SearchEngineLand)
Yelp quietly made a pretty big expansion of its search capabilities on iOS within the past week. The company’s latest iOS app update included a new photo viewer, increased visibility of bookmarked businesses, improvements to review highlights and about 15 new search filters that should make it easier for users to find the specific types of businesses they’re looking for.