A roundup of today’s big stories in hyperlocal publishing, marketing, commerce, and technology
Retail Software Startup LightSpeed Raises $35 Million From iNovia (Recode)
LightSpeed wants to provide the software and services that help brick-and-mortar retailers increase sales and improve the general customer experience. To do that, the company has raised $35 million in Series B funding from iNovia Capital, with participation from previous investor Accel Partners.
‘Legacies’ Open Door to ‘Pure Plays’ With Local Media Consortium (Street Fight)
Tom Grubisich: The Local Media Consortium has grown to 50 publishers, whose products include 800 newspapers and 200 broadcast stations across the U.S. Here, Rusty Coats, executive director, talks about where LCM is after its first year and where it’s headed.
Small Businesses Spend More on Social Than Any Other Media (Ad Age)
Social has become the top media platform for small and medium businesses when it comes to usage and spending, according to a new report from research firm BIA/Kelsey. The report found that 74.5% of small and medium businesses now use social media to advertise or promote their businesses.
The Value of Measuring the Immeasurable In-Store Customer Experience (Street Fight)
Anne Marie Stephens: Consumer purchasing behavior is shifting from stores to online and retailers are seeing less shopper foot traffic into physical stores. Here are five ways brick-and-mortar retailers can utilize passive shopper behavior information in-store and across the enterprise to increase sales.
For Mobile Marketers, The More Crowded The Better (Wall Street Journal)
A subway car packed to the brim with sweaty smartphone users might not seem like a marketer’s dream. But a new study shows that commuters are more likely to buy mobile coupons if they are squeezed in with their fellow travelers.
Even With Apple Pay Around, Credit Cards Are Still a Hotbed for Startups (Wired)
“The adoption of mobile payments is going to be an evolution, not a revolution,” says Denee Carrington, an analyst with research house Forrester Research who tracks the digital payments market. “Even if Apple Pay does incredible well, in the grand scheme of things, it will still be just a drop in the bucket.”
The Uber Effect: How San Francisco’s Cab Use Dropped 65-percent (Engadget)
According to Kate Toran, interim Taxis and Accessible Services director for the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency, the average taxi is only making about 504 trips per month. Two years ago (specifically, in March of 2012) the average trip per taxi averaged at 1,424.
Facebook Says Don’t Panic Because Its iOS 8 App Won’t Actually Track Your Location More (TechCrunch)
Facebook’s iOS 8 app won’t come out for a few more weeks, and will support the new iPhone 6 and 6 Plus sizes as well as iOS sharing sheets with friend tagging and emotion/activity sharing. But it’s going out of its way now to tell users that the way its app and location tracking works isn’t changing at all.
Lowe’s Backs Home Improvement Site Porch (Recode)
With a lot of startups tackling home remodeling it’s a pretty good sign of support to get Lowe’s, the big-box home improvement store, to lead your $27.6 million Series A funding round. That’s what happened to Seattle-based Porch.com, which aggregates project data so would-be remodelers can do research.
Sears Becomes First Major Retailer To Allow Returns & Exchanges From Customers Who Wait In Their Cars (TechCrunch)
Last year, Sears introduced a “Shop’In” feature within its own mobile application in order to connect in-store and online shopping. Today, mobile users are offered e-coupons, price comparisons, and personalized deals, and now, online shoppers can pick up merchandise, as well as return or exchange items without having to get out of their cars.
Airbnb to Collect SF Hotel Tax (SF Gate)
In a move that could add over $11 million a year to city coffers, Airbnb will collect San Francisco’s 14 percent hotel tax from visitors who book apartments or rooms in the city starting Oct. 1, the company said on Wednesday.