Street Fight Daily: Facebook’s New Ad Features, Retailers Will Start Testing MCX Payments App

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

Facebook Is Trying to Make It Even More Tempting for You to Buy Products from the News Feed (Business Insider)
Facebook has announced a series of new features for its Dynamic Product Ads format, opening up additional ad revenues from retailers. These ads are Facebook’s answer to Google’s Product Listing Ads, the focus of which is retargeting consumers who are likely to buy a product. It’s a huge, growing market, and Facebook wants to grab a bigger slice of that action by making its ads more attractive to retailers.

Retailers to Begin Public Tests of MCX Mobile Payment App, But Face Hurdles (Wall Street Journal)
Merchant Customer Exchange, a partnership between large retailers and restaurant companies, will begin public tests of its mobile payment app in the coming weeks. When MCX started, partners agreed not to adopt alternative mobile-payment systems for a period, but that promise expires this week; retailers that are part of MCX are now free to use systems from an increasingly crowded field of competitors. (Subscription required.)

How SMBs Can Respond to the ‘Uber Effect’ (Street Fight)
Adam Dorfman: If the past 15 years have taught us anything, it’s the resilience of brick-and-mortar businesses. Effective enterprises sense and respond to change by incorporating new technology and business models while relying on their distinct advantages, such as face-to-face service and distinctive ambience.

Amazon’s Dash Buttons Hint at a Future of Interface-Free Shopping (The Verge)
Amazon’s Dash Buttons support a shopping experience that involves almost zero interaction. The notion that the best interface may be no interface is not a new one, but in an e-commerce scenario, it makes a surprising amount of sense.

6 Platforms for On-Demand Doctor House Calls (Street Fight)
Using location-based mobile technology, vendors are modernizing the concept of physician house calls. For a price, consumers in most metropolitan areas can order up a doctor just like they would a pizza. Here are six platforms that consumers can use to bring healthcare providers to their doorsteps.

Google Kicks Off Effort to Put Local Small Businesses Online Before the Super Bowl (Silicon Valley Business Journal)
Before the Super Bowl comes to Santa Clara in February, a new Google initiative is assisting local business owners in establishing a web presence before the big game. Google has a larger effort, Let’s Put Our Cities on the Map, to make the process fast, easy, and free for local businesses to get online and raise awareness of their brands.

This Dining App Is Trying to Break OpenTable’s Stranglehold on the Market (Business Insider)
The original premise of Cover was being a “dine-and-dash” app that lets you check into a table, eat, and leave. Your bill then appears on your phone without the annoyance of getting the check. That experience is still central, but a new update adds support for restaurant discovery.

The Digital Media Industry Needs to React to Ad Blockers…Or Else (Columbia Journalism Review)
Michael Rosenwald: This is an exciting time in digital news, but analysts say the rise of ad blocking threatens the industry — the free sites that rely exclusively on ads, and the paywalled outlets that rely on ads to compensate for the vast majority of internet users who refuse to pay for news.

Mobile Wallets and Location Marketing: Targeting the Consumer Near the Store (eMarketer)
Mobile wallets are an effective way for marketers to build loyalty with consumers, and they present consumers with another way to pay for goods and services beyond cash and traditional point-of-sale systems. Alistair Goodman, CEO of Placecast, a location-based mobile advertising company, spoke about how mobile wallets go beyond loyalty and payments.

HomeAdvisor Rolls Out New Booking Feature to Eliminate Playing Phone Tag With Contractors (GeekWire)
HomeAdvisor now allows home services professionals on its network to integrate their Google Calendar with the platform, making it easier for customers to see their availability. The Instant Booking technology is nationwide for more than 500 tasks, from plumbing to remodeling.

Survey: 71 Percent Browse Retail Apps Before Buying In-Stores (Marketing Land)
A recent survey found that 88 percent of respondents use retailer apps; 61 percent said they used them at least monthly. There was also a sub-segment of respondents who used retailer apps seven or more times per month, a group constituting 26 percent of the app-user population.

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