Street Fight Daily: Amazon’s Local Ambition, The On-Demand Obsession

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

2011_3_11_amazonPredicting Amazon’s Secret Plans in Physical Retail (Recode)
The recent launch of Amazon’s in-store credit card reader and checkout software was one of Jeff Bezos’ most deliberate acts to date to grab a slice of the 85 to 90 percent of total purchases that still happen in the physical world. But the people who know Amazon the best said it has far more ambitious plans in the offline world.

How Marketers Can Use Mobile to Shape a Back-to-School Strategy (Street Fight)
It’s that time of year again — time to get ready for school. This presents marketers with a huge opportunity to implement a back-to-school strategy, especially when it comes to mobile. According to a new report from Thinknear, 40% of customers spend at least an hour planning for back-to-school shopping on mobile.

On-Demand Beauty Apps Are on the Rise (Wall Street Journal)
One of the fastest-growing areas of on-demand websites and apps brings salon services to your home or office. Companies like Vênsette and Glamsquad cater to a clientele that’s addicted both to app-based services and to turning beauty chores like blow-drying one’s hair over to professionals for a reasonable fee. (Subscription required)

The Art of Local Marketing: Becoming Selfie-Aware (Street Fight)
Michael Boland: The jury is still out on the new Foursquare’s scalability and I’ve grown to like it. But it’s no Yelp killer. And in the past month, a few things have shed more light on Yelp’s potential direction.

Airbnb To Reveal Names Of 124 Hosts To New York’s Attorney General (Fortune)
The apartment-rental service agreed to give the state with anonymous information on 16,000 hosts in May and disclose identities of any hosts skirting state’s multiple dwelling law. The agreement also came with the understanding that the state could request the names and addresses of users who the state suspects of illegal activity.

The Future Of Mobile Commerce Is Commerce (Gigaom)
Cormac Foster: Retailers, banks, and consumers all want frictionless transactions, and nobody wants to be the tragically unhip company that can’t meet its users on their terms. Technology, however, is not a strategy, and while a lousy checkout can definitely lose a sale, a good one is rarely the reason a consumer decides to buy.

Hyperlocal Mesh Networks (AVC)
Fred Wilson: Most mesh networks are connected to the public Internet, but if that connection goes down, the local mesh continues to work. If every neighborhood in Brooklyn had a public mesh like Red Hook has, and if they were all meshed with each other, then Brooklyn would have its own local Internet of sorts.

Shell Shows More Gas Brands Could Fuel Up on Social Media  (Adweek)
While BP has garnered attention in recent years for its use of social media, Shell, which is ramping up its social game while buying ads on Swarm/Foursquare, Facebook and Twitter, has accrued 5.2 million fans and 245,000 followers on the latter two platforms, respectively.

From Livingsocial CEO To Venture Capitalist? Not Quite. (Washington Post)
Tim O’Shaughnessy has cut checks to at least two early-stage companies since stepping down as chief executive of District deals company LivingSocial earlier this month. But O’Shaughnessy says he isn’t “combing the Earth” for deals, nor does he expect investing in start-ups to become a full-time endeavor.

Elite Yelpers Hold Immense Power, And They Get Treated Like Kings By Bars And Restaurants Trying To Curry Favor (Business Insider)
From an outsider’s perspective, becoming a Yelp Elite is akin to joining a secret society. The idea is that Yelp Elites will get these new local businesses on their radar, then create high-quality, reliable reviews and direct traffic to the site.

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