Street Fight Daily: How Surge Pricing Could Affect Retail, Walgreens’ Mobile Approach

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

Uber-Style Surge Pricing May Catch on with Retailers (Forbes)
For some, “surge pricing” — automated price increases on products and services in periods of high demand — adheres to a basic free market principle. Others see it as a form of price gouging. Regardless, the use of surge pricing appears likely to increase as a growing number of on-demand economy companies test its application.

Connecting the Local-Mobile Economy, One Step at a Time (Street Fight)
David Card: Hyperlocal, mobile, on-demand contextual commerce enabled by buy buttons within mobile apps — that’s the new string of buzzwords making the rounds at industry conferences. It’s going to take a while for this to play out in the connected local economy. A key reason is that even as mobile disrupts search, most marketers and merchants can’t expect to get their own app on a majority of users’ home screens.

Why Walgreens Is Partnering with Postmates and Betting Big on Mobile (LinkedIn Pulse)
“Through an omnichannel approach, we want to be where are customers are, whether that’s in stores, online, or via a device,” said Joe Rago, director of mobile innovation for Walgreens. “In mobile, we’re reducing friction by using technology to simplify actions, such as refilling a prescription or uploading and printing photos.”

The Struggle to Save Local News Is Not Doomed (Street Fight)
Tom Grubisich: The current state of local news in the technology-driven information age continues to be a hotly debated topic in industry circles. There’s more consensus around the grim prospects for local print media, and more debate about the outlook for independent local news sites. Understanding where the future lies for local news requires a thorough parsing of both positions.

Kroger Tests ‘Smart Shelf’ Technology (Indianapolis Star)
Imagine your grocery list tells you where the nearest item is and sends you an alert if you pass it in the aisle. Say you need a small item and, just as you approach the crowded shelf, it lights up right under what you’re seeking. These are just two of the applications grocery chain Kroger is experimenting with for its “smart shelf” technology.

Here Are 6 New Ways to Make Mobile Advertising Work (Adweek)
Tom Goodwin: I’d argue advertising hasn’t created a single new ad unit since the 1960s. We’ve taken print ads, content marketing, radio ads, and TV and made tiny changes to them to fit the new screens that have proliferated in our lives. Those screens have become smaller, and thus the ads have too. For mobile advertising to become a scaled reality, we need to rethink what’s possible.

Online Shopping Is Transitioning to a More Touchy-Feely Model (Recode)
RK Parthasarathy: Savvy consumers are demanding more from stores when shopping for products. They want an informative, interactive purchasing experience, not just a transaction.

The Best Use of Geo-Data Is to Improve the Mobile Consumer Experience (GeoMarketing)
Lara Mehanna: Mobile advertising has an edge over other channels in the race to improve the ad experience, given its treasure trove of geo-data. Despite industry debate over the accuracy of geo-data and the need to further inform the public of how this data is collected and utilized, geo-data is key to making advertising relevant. When employed correctly, it can improve the overall consumer experience.

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