Street Fight Daily: Uber’s Big E-commerce Push, Amazon’s Restaurants Division Hires Staff

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

Report: Uber to Begin E-commerce Deliveries Soon (The Next Web)
Uber is taking another step in fulfilling its aims of becoming a true logistics company. The ride-sharing behemoth has been sidling up to high-end brands and is in talks with Bigcommerce and Shopify to create easy interfaces for retailers to partner with the company.

The Not-So-Low-Hanging Fruit: Why the Local Market Remains Elusive (Street Fight)
“The great challenge of winning the local market boils down to balancing sufficient reach and scale with specificity,” writes Noah Elkin, who is joining Street Fight today as managing editor. “It turns out thinking globally and acting locally isn’t always easy – as a consumer or as a marketer.”

Amazon Hiring Staff for New Restaurant Division in Seattle, New York (Recode)
Amazon is adding staff for a new division dedicated to restaurants in Seattle and New York. The online retailer has dabbled in food delivery before, but Amazon’s move to form a dedicated unit could mean it’s preparing to compete against well-established players like GrubHub.

M&A Report: A Long, Hard Look at Loyalty Programs (Street Fight)
Charity Huff: Loyalty encompasses more than just promotions and punchcards. Tech companies that connect the data dots and create meaningful, accurate consumer personas that explain why we as consumers are loyal to a brand (not a promotion) should be able to parlay that information into new revenue per customer.

Once-Troubled Hyperlocal News Brand Patch Expands to Austin; Here’s the How and Why (Austin Business Journal)
Patch, a network of hyperlocal news websites, has expanded into Austin as the brand tries – cautiously – to re-establish itself among readers and advertisers after struggling to find success as a branch of AOL.

Case Study: Bay Area Café Opts for Full-Service Social Management (Street Fight)
Keeping on top of the endless stream of reviews posted on Yelp, Facebook, Twitter, and TripAdvisor each day can be time-consuming for a busy small business owner. Responding to negative reviews can be emotionally draining as well, so Brian Wilson decided to take another route.

Capitalizing on the Digital Trail to the Offline Purchase (Marketing Land)
Adam Weiss: With all the options to consider when developing an online-to-offline marketing strategy, choosing the right mix can seem overwhelming. It’s not a set-it-and-forget-it strategy; to ensure success, programs must be frequently measured and evaluated, and appropriate shifts made.

Facebook’s M Is a Bigger Threat to Google and Yelp Than to Siri and Cortana (Motley Fool)
The recently announced M virtual assistant from Facebook has gotten a lot of press on how it compares with services like Apple’s Siri, Microsoft’s Cortana, and Google’s Google Now. But M is a whole other beast, allowing users to search with unlimited scope and interact with everything outside their phone.

What Are They Thinking? Cox’s Dawg Nation Itches the Local Niche (Newsonomics)
Ken Doctor: For newspapers, a mix of national, “foreign,” and local news, sports, community happenings, and lifestyle and entertainment features comprised their model for success. Now, as mass audiences have been usurped by Google and Facebook, newspaper companies are striving to corral more definable, more ad-targetable audiences; everyone’s embracing niches.

Ad-Blocking Firm Shine Calls on Carriers to Deliver Mobile Ads Toll Free (Recode)
Shine, an Israeli/U.S. startup that hopes to convince carriers to install its ad-blocking technology, took out an ad in yesterday’s Financial Times calling on carriers and advertisers to find a way to make sure consumers aren’t the ones paying for mobile ads.

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