A roundup of today’s big stories in hyperlocal publishing, marketing, commerce, and technology…
Brick-and-Mortar Sales Edge Lower At Start Of Holiday Season; Online Surges (Reuters)
U.S. shoppers spent slightly less money at brick-and-mortar stores on Thanksgiving Day and Black Friday than across the same two days in 2013, while online sales surged to record highs. The data highlights the waning importance of Black Friday, which until a few years ago kicked off the holiday shopping season, as more retailers start discounting earlier in the month.
How Jim Brady’s Billy Penn Tailors News to Philly’s Millennials (Street Fight)
BillyPennDigital local news pioneer Jim Brady launched mobile-focused Billy Penn in Philadelphia a month ago. Brady, joined by other Billy Penn staffers, talked with Street Fight recently about what the site is doing to stand out in a major metro market that has more than 70 websites covering local news.
New Facebook Rules Will Sting Entrepreneurs (Wall Street Journal)
Businesses used to own their consumer relationships through email or other in-house marketing channels, or to buy them from newspapers, television and other traditional media outlets through ads. “But Yelp and now Facebook are trying to peddle a third model,” says Steven Jacobs of Street Fight: “renting—in which a business can build a community but never own an audience on a platform.”
Sponsored: In National-to-Local, Success Is All About Boots on the Ground (Street Fight)
The key challenge of implementing marketing technology from the corporate office to the local branches and representatives is compliance at the local level. The key to rolling out local marketing efforts seamlessly comes down to education, engagement, and adoption…
This Man Was Supposed To Become Steve Jobs 2.0 — Here’s What Happened Instead (Business Insider)
When Jack Dorsey started Square, he wanted to reinvent both sides of the payments network. He wanted Square to be both the way merchants accept payments and the way consumers make them. But consumers hardly noticed, and Square was forced to call the deal a success because it helped prove that its payments systems would work with merchants of any size.
6 Ways to Connect With Local Influencers (Street Fight)
Pinpointing the right influencers to target — those most likely to impact the purchasing decisions of other shoppers — involves looking at a combination of location, demographics, and reach. It also involves crafting a deliberate and personalized strategy on the part of the marketer.
Is Small Business Saturday For Real or Just a Feel-Good Symbol? (Screenwerk)
Greg Sterling: There are various promotional tools provided by Amex in the run up to Small Business Saturday. However most consumers don’t consult Shopsmall.com or the Amex site to look for products or deals. Accordingly it’s somewhat naive to think that these once-a-year tools can make much more than a very marginal impact.
Uber Disciplines New York Manager for Tracking Reporter’s Movements (Skift)
Uber, which has faced criticism after an executive suggested he was willing to pay to investigate reporters’ lives, took disciplinary actions against a manager for tracking a journalist’s movements. The online car-booking company had been looking into the actions of Josh Mohrer, general manager of its New York business, for following the whereabouts of a BuzzFeed reporter without her permission.
A Salad Chain’s Surprise Ingredient: Tech Money (New York Times)
Many traditional bricks-and-mortar companies have spent the last decade or two trying to translate their in-store customer services into online experiences. But one reason that tech investors are interested in Sweetgreen is that it is trying to do the reverse.
Ebay’s Magic Mirrors Will Give Shoppers Fashion Advice (Wired)
From the sharp interface design to the seemingly seamless fusion of digital connectedness to physical retail, this place feels like the brick-and-mortar store of the future. This Rebecca Minkoff store and a partner location in New York are opening for the holidays to show off eBay’s latest tech for re-inventing in-store shopping.
Under Pressure From Uber, Taxi Medallion Prices Are Plummeting (New York Times)
In major cities throughout the United States, taxi medallion prices are tumbling as taxis face competition from car-service apps like Uber and Lyft. The average price of an individual New York City taxi medallion fell to $872,000 in October, down 17 percent from a peak reached in the spring of 2013, according to an analysis of sales data.
A Hook-up App For Travellers: Make It A Tripr To Remember (Economist)
Tripr, the brainchild of Nicholas Green and Alexander Dru, allows travelers to enter an itinerary and seek out like-minded companions who will be in the same place at the same time. The app replicates some of the functionality of Tinder, a dating app, by allowing people to dismiss or accept potential travel companions, arriving at suitable matches quickly.
Meet Plague, A Social Networking App That Spreads Information Like A Virus (Business Insider)
Instead of seeing posts from people you follow or whatever is trending, a post on Plague is designed to spread much like a virus in real life. Whenever a user submits a funny picture or video, it gets sent to the four Plague users closest to that person, who can either pass it along to the four closest Plague users nearby, or strike it down and stop the spread.