A roundup of today’s big stories in hyperlocal publishing, marketing, commerce, and technology…
Microsoft, PayPal Team Up for Mobile POS for SMBs (eWeek)
Microsoft and PayPal want to help make the cash register a thing of the past for small and mid-size businesses and merchants. The company announced new products that leverage the Surface Pro 3’s laptop-like performance and its tablet form factor to help business run their operations and accept payment.
Thinknear Founder Eli Portnoy Launches New Startup Sense360 (Street Fight)
Two months after exiting Telenav, Eli Portnoy has raised $2.75 million from a handful of investors for a new project, Sense360. The startup is developing software to analyze the data from sensors such as light readers or accelerometers.
Moovit Raises $50M To Scale Its Public Transit App, Goes Up Against CityMapper (TechCrunch)
Israeli public transport startup Moovit has raised $50 million in a new Series C funding round. That makes the company worth as much as $450 million. Moovit is trying to reproduce Waze’s success with private car owners, but this time with public transportation users. But that’s only part of the story.
Sponsored: Optimizing Your PPC Campaign (Street Fight)
Basic pay-per-call campaign optimization strategies run the gamut from scheduling ad play according to hours of operation to selecting the most accurate categories for ads to play in. These optimization strategies help increase both the volume of calls that a business receives and the duration of those calls.
Facebook Ad Clicks Are Shifting to Mobile, so Why Aren’t Conversions? (AdWeek)
Despite 63 percent of Facebook ad clicks occurred on mobile devices during 2014’s fourth quarter, just 34 percent of the social media giant’s conversions came from smartphones and tablets. This means nearly two-thirds of all Facebook ad conversions are happening on desktops even though the digital platform’s usage is increasingly skewing toward mobile.
9 Keys to Launching a Successful Beacon Program (Street Fight)
One of the biggest questions from retailers in the coming year will likely be how they can better implement beacon programs at their stores. We asked top executives from the hyperlocal industry for their take on what’s really necessary to launch a successful beacon program.
Review Inflation: What Happens When Everyone Has 5 Stars? (Screenwerk)
Greg Sterling: There’s plenty of data that show consumers rely heavily on ratings and reviews to help them make purchase decisions and businesses are starting to become much more sophisticated about online reviews. But what happens when the tools and growing sophistication of local businesses results in what might be called “review inflation”?
TGI Fridays Rolls Out Tablets And Trials Social Media Check-in (ComputerWeekly)
TGI Fridays is rolling out tablets across its restaurant chain they can quickly process orders and payments at the table. The company has also trialed check-in technology for the last 10 months, using Foursquare and Swarm to provide bartenders with information about customers as they enter a restaurant and interact on social media.
The One-Click Economy (Blumenthals)
Mike Blumenthal: I’ve realized that the sharing economy companies, while not redefining economies or capitalism, do in fact redefine the customer experience expectations. They are not some new economic model but they are very efficient, albeit new, middlemen in a range of transactions that have leveraged technology to reduce staff and decrease buying friction.
Retailers Must Make Buy Online, Pick Up In-Store Worth It (eMarketer)
Buy online, pick up in-store models took center stage in 2014, providing a viable option for retailers struggling to figure ou how best to cater to consumer demands for speed, convenience and low costs. New data finds at least one way for retailers to lower the barrier to entry for click and collect for consumers who have been eliminating trips to stores.