Street Fight Daily: Square’s Ecommerce Push, Waze Data In Google Maps

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

coffee_bean-square-300Square’s Quiet E-Commerce Threat (BusinessWeek)
Square Market was launched as a means for Square’s small business sellers to establish an online storefront quickly and promote their goods easily with social media tools, but Market is showing signs of evolving into an independent online marketplace, competing with the likes of Etsy and Fab. According to Ajit Varma, who heads up Market for Square, 20 percent of Square’s 500,000 listed merchants have never used its payment hardware, Reader and Stand—they’re solely selling and marketing online.

How Online Review Sites Can Regain Consumers’ Trust  (Street Fight)
Yoav Schwartz: As long as there are economic incentives to create bogus reviews, unscrupulous people and businesses will continue to exploit the platforms that make it easy to deceive. For the local players seeking to help users in selecting a great business, use the offline world as a guide. Require an identity, build communities of real people sharing advice, and give legitimate customers a megaphone to honestly rate the service received.

Waze Data Is Starting To Show Up In Google Maps (BuzzFeed)
Back in June, Google spent an estimated $1.3 billion on Waze, a popular crowdsourced driving app. While both companies assured users Waze would remain a standalone app, many speculated the company’s most powerful asset — millions of dutiful active users sharing real-time traffic updates — would be integrated into Google’s already powerful map product. According to some, that process has already begun. Google Maps is now alerting users to traffic accidents via Waze.

5 Tools For Analyzing Location Data from Social Media (Street Fight)
The volume of data available through social media overwhelms marketers of all sizes, including large brands with hundreds of outposts. Whereas it might be possible for a merchant with a single location to manually monitor the tweets, reviews, and photos being posted about his business each day, that kind of personal attention to detail is virtually impossible for larger brands. Here are five examples of platforms that marketers can use to make sense of the location-specific data coming from social media.

Selling By Groupon Insiders, Like Big News, Is On Way (USAToday)
During the three months ended in late October, the ratio of insider sales to purchases of Groupon shares had skyrocketed to 100-to-1. Insiders — including executives, board members and early investors — sold a whopping 301.7 million Groupon shares during that time while buying just 3.2 million. That type of sale raises concerns in the minds of people who follow it because the firm is a top-tier venture capital partnership with a long list of successful investments.

Why I’m Not Upset About A Supermarket Scanning Its Customers’ Faces (GigaOm)
David Meyer: The British supermarket chain Tesco is to install advertising screens with built-in cameras at 450 gas station checkouts, so that it can scan customers’ faces in a bid to target advertising at them more accurately. Once upon a time I may have found that risky, but we’re much further down that slippery slope these days.

Yelp Reviews, Business Orders Via App Gain Traction (MediaPost)
During the summer, Yelp introduced a feature long requested by users: the ability to write and post reviews via mobile as well as on the desktop. In addition, the company began allowing people to complete transactions and orders with local businesses directly from its app. Comments by Yelp executives during the company’s third-quarter conference call this week indicated that those options are already beginning to gain traction.

How Location Targeting Is Transforming Retail (BusinessInsider)
One of the biggest marketing puzzles for owners of brick-and-mortar businesses is mobile advertising, figuring out how to benefit from the constant parade of people wandering around staring at their smartphones and looking things up on them. Seattle-based Placed is trying to solve all of those problems by collecting billions of data points from people’s mobile phones about their locations when they use certain apps and, potentially, see mobile ads.

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