A roundup of today’s big stories in hyperlocal content, commerce, and technology
A Lot Of People Have Already Left Clinkle, A Buzzy Payment App That Still Hasn’t Launched (Business Insider)
In June, 20-something Lucas Duplan announced a $25 million fundraise for the mobile payments application. Since then, Duplan’s team has soft launched Clinkle on a number of college campuses while keeping the general public in the dark. While Duplan and his investors have said the app will be worth the wait, it seems some early employees didn’t agree. A number of them have already left the company.
5 On-Demand Fulfillment Platforms For Holiday Shoppers (Street Fight)
As the days get shorter and the weather gets cold, shoppers are less likely to venture outside to make purchases from brick-and-mortar stores. But that doesn’t mean community businesses have to admit defeat in their battle for market share against online-only retailers. A number of on-demand fulfillment platforms are providing holiday shoppers with tools to make purchases from local retailers without leaving home.
Disney World Characters Aren’t Greeting All the Visiting Kids by Name — Yet (AllThingsD)
Disney seems to be behind schedule with its MyMagic+ project to personalize its theme parks with RFID bracelets, the Orlando Sentinel reports. The brightly colored bands link with online profiles for each visiting family member, and can be scanned at park kiosks to access advance ride bookings, receive customer service, and pay for all the stuff your kids want to buy.
Sponsored Content: New Report Examines Effect of Localized Ads On Holiday Sales (Street Fight)
A new white paper from Neustar, “Localized Online Ads Mean Stronger Holiday Sales,” takes an in-depth look at the science of local targeting and the effect that it can have on a company’s overall marketing strategy. Although there is no denying that the direct purchase of contextual ads from mammoth publications allows marketers to reach millions of readers at once, these tactics may not work well for marketers with key performance indicators like engagement and sales.
Can Same-Day Delivery Succeed This Time? (MIT Technology Review)
Consumer habits and expectations have changed since the days when Internet investors poured millions into delivery companies like WebVan and Kozmo.com. Technology companies seem to think local delivery will finally be sustainable—or perhaps just strategically useful. Online retail is a $262 billion business in the U.S. and is growing fast. Delivering things more quickly is one way to stand out.
Sizing Up the Better Business Bureau, and Its Rivals on the Internet (New York Times)
Alina Tugend: Over the years, when writing about subjects as varied as driving schools and air duct cleaners, I’ve given the seemingly benign advice to check out companies with the Better Business Bureau. There are other options out there like Angie’s List and Yelp, to name a few of the better known. Just those three rating services alone give millions of people information about millions of companies every year.
Competition Brings Lyft, Sidecar and Uber Closer to Cloning Each Other (AllThingsD)
Sometimes competition forces players to distinguish themselves. Other times, it brings them closer together. That seems to be ever more the case among mobile ride-hailing companies, the principals being Lyft, Uber and Sidecar. The difference, the startups would say, is the communities they’ve built, and their place in the new “sharing economy.” But, really, they’re increasingly acting just like a more modern version of cabs.
From Static To Suggestive: Nokia’s Earthmine-Powered Vision For The Future Of Maps (TechCrunch)
On its earnings conference call last month the company talked up the prospects for its location services division HERE to compete with Google Maps, and win new business in consumer facing use-cases such as on mobile devices. It’s also revving HERE’s engines literally, with a plan to triple the number of cars it has wearing down rubber mapping new roads and places, and doing the ongoing map maintenance required to keep the data fresh.
Beyond Retail: What’s Next For Indoor Location Tracking With Apple’s iBeacon (Venture Beat)
With the precise, low-cost indoor tracking technology of iBeacon and Bluetooth LE (low energy) devices, stores can now target appropriate shoppers by both interest and location, turning window-shopping into actual sales. Now that Apple can track your location more granularly than a blue dot on a street map, the broader potential of indoor location tracking falls into two categories — creating engagement channels that did not exist before, and replacing tasks or functions that previously had to be performed manually.
ShopKeep Goes Custom, Releasing A Speedy New System For Holiday Shopping (TechCrunch)
ShopKeep POS is releasing a new version of its iPad-based sales management system to cut checkout time in retail locations. Retailers can now customize their register with color coded buttons and group products to jump between different categories more easily.