Street Fight’s 10 Most Popular Stories From the First Half of 2015

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In the local space, the first six months of 2015 brought a deeper emphasis on local commerce and the connected local economy, new partnerships, and consolidation and restructuring at legacy players. Amid the chaos, Street Fight held major conferences in Denver and San Francisco, and released our third Local Merchant Report.

With the first half of the year in the bag, here’s a look back at the top Street Fight stories (at least in terms of traffic) so far this year.

1. How ZocDoc Grew Its Healthcare Booking Site Into a National Business
Steven Jacobs, January 14th: Anna Elwood, VP of operations at ZocDoc, talked with Street Fight about how the company built up its customer service, how it balances people and technology, and how it decides where to go next.

2. ReachLocal CEO: Digital Ad Industry Has a ‘Very Poor Reputation’ Among Small Businesses
Steven Jacobs, March 12: Turnarounds take time — and no one is more aware of the challenges than Sharon Rowlands, who took the helm at ReachLocal almost a year ago. In an interview with Street Fight, Rowlands talks why she thinks ReachLocal is not the only company in small business marketing industry with brand problem.

3. DoorDash Sets Its Sights on GrubHub in the Battle for Local Delivery
Annie Melton, April 20: Local delivery is a good space to be in right now — just ask DoorDash, an on-demand logistics company offering an ordering and delivery platform for dine-in restaurants without those services. The company recently raised $40 million in venture capital and is expanding to new locations across the country.

4. First Data Wants to Turn Its Payment Empire Into a Local Marketing Juggernaut
Liz Taurasi, April 13th: First Data, the payment processing giant, wants to be more than just a black box on the counter. We caught up with Peter Karpas, global head of SMB product, to talk about moving beyond the payment business, the company’s acquisition strategy, and where the world’s largest payment process fits into the future of small business.

5. Why Cross-Device Matching Will Transform the Mobile Advertising Industry
Liz Taurasi, June 2nd: Soon, the mobile ad industry will face one of the realities of maturity: integrating with the rest of the digital advertising world. One of the drivers leading that convergence is cross-device matching where a company can identify multiple devices own by a single person.

6. After 2 Spinoffs, Journal Media Group Looks to Strengthen Digital Offerings
Tom Grubisich, June 15th: The new Journal Media Group includes the 17 dailies that used to be part of E. W. Scripps and the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, which used to be owned by Journal Communications. We asked the company’s president, Tim Stautberg, about what JMG will be doing to succeed in both print and digital…

7. Facebook SMB Chief: We’re Changing — Small Businesses Need to Change With Us
Steven Jacobs, March 17th: In an interview with Street Fight, Jonathan Czaja, the head of small business in North America at Facebook, says that the uproar among small business over the changes stems from a broader shift of the social network as an advertising platform.

8. How Hyperlocal Tech Is Reviving Brick-and-Mortar Sales
Allan Haims, January 28th: Retailers have a plethora of customer data and technologies at their disposal which can be effectively combined to personalize the brick-and-mortar shopping experience. By tapping into the rich analytics and capabilities of these cross-functional offerings, they can be well positioned to regain market share.

9. Why Instacart’s $2 Billion Valuation Doesn’t Spell Bubble
Steven Jacobs, January 26th: No story has rekindled concerns about valuations like the ascent of Instacart, a local logistics firm whose recently raised $220 million at a $2 billion dollar valuation. We caught up with Instacart’s Nilam Ganenthiran to talk about how a delivery network could reshape the competitive landscape of local grocery markets.

10. Grubhub Has Made Its Biggest Move Since the Seamless Merger
Steven Jacobs, February 5th: In the most important move since its merger with Seamless, Grubhub has acquired two delivery companies in an effort to build its own delivery network. The move marks a transition in strategy.

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