A roundup of today’s big stories in hyperlocal publishing, marketing, commerce, and technology…
Why an Instagram Tweak Spells the Beginning of a Multibillion-Dollar Industry (Recode)
Instagram is finally open for business. The network offers an uncommon blend of substance and style — Facebook-powered analytics plus fashion-mag aesthetics. It’s mobile-first and uniquely positioned to reach young, socially active users. And now its API gives marketers the ability to automate and scale the ad-buying process.
PayPal Makes Its First Acquisition After Splitting From eBay (Fortune)
PayPal has bought mobile commerce startup Modest, which helps merchants create mobile apps for their stores. Modest will be part of PayPal’s Braintree business, which manages and processes payments for companies like ride sharing giant Uber.
Geofencing at Events: How to Reach Potential Customers Live and On-Site (Street Fight)
Alex Palmer: Businesses have been taking a closer look at the potential for geofencing and proximity marketing for trade shows, events, and festivals. The technology offers some rich opportunities for interactive messages, and can ensure that promotions are especially relevant.
Google Express Plans to Shut Down Its Two Delivery Hubs (Recode)
Google Express, the search giant’s same-day delivery service, is shutting down its hubs in San Francisco and Mountain View. The move is part of a broader push within Google to revamp the service after it failed to make a serious dent and lost important executives.
Case Study: Bubble Tea Shops Use Boosted Facebook Posts for Customer Acquisition (Street Fight)
Like many merchants, the team behind Boba Guys relies primarily on unpaid marketing campaigns for customer retention, using organic tactics like posting exclusives and inside news on social media. Ten percent of Boba Guys’ marketing is aimed at customer acquisition.
Mogl Raises $8 Million to Expand Beyond Restaurants (San Diego Union-Tribune)
It’s been four years since Mogl launched its mobile rewards program allowing San Diego restaurants to tailor real-time discounts to lure in customers, and the company is attempting to pivot the technology behind its app into other industries nationwide – gas stations, grocery stores, clothing stores – in a way that lets retailers track online offers and brick-and-mortar sales.
Things Are About to Get More Difficult for Target (CNBC)
Target easily topped analysts’ expectations Wednesday, and simultaneously boosted its outlook for the year. But can it keep up the momentum? Its ambitions include overhauling its food business, providing a more localized assortment of products, improving its digital operations by speeding up the delivery of online orders, and offering product recommendations that are better tailored to individual shoppers.
The Changing Face of Today’s Consumer (ReadWrite)
Ori Karev: Products or services either succeed or fail in minutes or days, not weeks or months. Consumerism has shifted from a world of physical images and personal communication to a world of imagery and perception. Regardless of industry, product, or service, vendors that enable instantaneous access and deliver on their digital promise will survive.
Book an Appointment Right From the Search Results With Google’s Latest Test (Search Engine Land)
On a Google search for a participating service provider, an option to “Book an appointment” will appear in the knowledge panel, which is chiefly populated with the provider’s Google My Business information.
Amazon and the Realities of the ‘New Economy’ (The New Yorker)
John Cassidy: Amazon provides a good example of how the New Economy really works. To most of its customers, it’s a wonderfully convenient website. But behind the New Economy front end lies a huge old-economy network of warehouses, trucks, and modestly paid workers.
Brick-and-Mortar Remains Best Fit for Apparel Shoppers (eMarketer)
Respondents to a recent apparel shopping survey were far and away more likely to buy clothing in-store; more than half said they primarily purchased clothing in a physical store, vs. 21.2% who said the same about digital.