A roundup of today’s big stories in hyperlocal publishing, marketing, commerce, and technology…
Twitter Makes ‘Buy’ Button Widely Available (New York Times)
After two years of testing, Twitter announced that its “buy now” button will be available to U.S. merchants that use one of three ecommerce platforms to run their online shopping operations: Demandware, Bigcommerce, or Shopify.
Tim Armstrong Says AOL Is in the ‘Best Position’ to Fight Ad Blocking (Adweek)
AOL chief Tim Armstrong said his company’s reliance on advertising actually puts it in a good position to fight ad blockers. “Any threat that ad blocking is doing is because people aren’t innovating enough on ad formats and delivering value to consumers,” Armstrong said. “We may have created our own problem, but we’re also in the single best position to invent our own way out of that problem.”
4 Local Marketing Strategies to Boost Same-Store Sales (Street Fight)
Company success often rises and falls on the ability to deliver same-store sales increases, so multi-unit brands spend a lot of energy managing around this core metric. But it’s difficult to drive local success at scale with a one-size-fits-all approach. Here’s a list of four creative strategies (and associated tactics) that local stores can implement to boost their overall performance.
Sources: Jack Dorsey Expected to Be Named Permanent Twitter CEO (Recode)
Though it’s not clear if Twitter’s board has officially voted on Dorsey’s appointment, he is expected be named the company’s new permanent CEO as early as this week. Dorsey will apparently continue to run his payments company, Square.
6 Tools for Tracking Business Competitors (Street Fight)
Every business owner wants to know the competition’s secret sauce, and now, merchants who are interested in tracking their competitors can let technology do some of the work. Competitive analysis tools allow local business owners to understand what neighboring merchants are doing right. Here are six examples of platforms that businesses can use.
UPS Invests to Learn About Direct Online Sales (Wall Street Journal)
UPS is investing in a tech startup that allows brand manufacturers to set up websites and sell directly to consumers, bypassing the middlemen. Two-year-old Ally Commerce, headed up by a former eBay executive, launches ecommerce services for brands and has raised a total of $8.4 million in two rounds of funding. (Subscription required)
Foursquare Now Lets You Make OpenTable Reservations Without Leaving The App (The Next Web)
Foursquare has partnered with OpenTable since 2012 to make restaurant reservation times available for viewing, but an update will allow users to book tables straight from the app. Previously, when there were OpenTable options on a Foursquare listing, users were redirected to the mobile web or another app. Now users can browse availability and reserve a table without leaving Foursquare.
The AP Will Build Out Data Partnerships with Local Newsrooms (Nieman Lab)
The Associated Press has nabbed $400,000 from the Knight Foundation to hire more data journalists and expand the types of projects that it does. In particular, the money will help the AP share more of its data sets with local news organizations.
Mobile Savings App Ibotta Scores $40 Million (TechCrunch)
Mobile shopping app Ibotta, which got its start as an alternative means for grocery shoppers to save money without having to clip coupons, has now closed on $40 million in Series C funding to continue scaling its business.
Rentrak and comScore to Merge, Creating Broad Media Measurement Firm (Marketing Land)
In a surprise move that will reverberate across the world of analytics and audience measurement, comScore and Rentrak have announced a merger. They explained in their joint release that they’re merging to bring improved cross-platform measurement to the industry: “TV, video on demand, desktop, mobile, over-the-top devices, or in the movie theater.”