A roundup of today’s big stories in hyperlocal publishing, marketing, commerce, and technology…
Amazon Leases 20 Cargo Planes to Build In-House Delivery Network (Business Insider)
Amazon has signed a deal leasing Boeing 767s to ensure capacity to fulfill its promise of one and two-day deliveries in the U.S. The deal will help Amazon build out its in-house delivery network, allowing it to rely less on third-party shippers like UPS and FedEx.
Yelp’s Head of EU Public Policy: Europe Strategy Depends on Google Antitrust Case (Street Fight)
Yelp has been vocal in its disapproval of Google’s handling of local search results and is one of the complainants in the European Union’s antitrust lawsuit against the search giant. Street Fight recently caught up with Yelp’s head of EU public policy, Kostas Rossoglou, to talk about the case, as well as the challenges faced by European companies hoping to break into local markets.
Report: For Every $1 Online Influenced by Reviews, Offline Impact At Least $4 (Marketing Land)
A new report, “The ROBO [research online, buy offline] economy: How reading reviews impacts offline sales,” seeks to document the impact of online product reviews on in-store shopping. The report points out that 82 percent of shoppers use their smartphones as shopping assistants in stores. While it’s assumed this behavior is consumers determining if they can buy something cheaper online, it’s more often about validating intended purchases — 39 percent of in-store buyers look at reviews in real time.
Case Study: Chicago Photographer Generates Leads with Paid Search Campaigns (Street Fight)
As the digital marketing manager for Christine Waller Photography, a small photography business based in Chicago, Conor Keenan uses many sources of traffic to generate leads. His monthly search budget runs between $250 and $500, depending on the services he’s focusing on that month.
Square Posts Mixed Q4 Results, but Promise of Future Profits Boosts Stock (Recode)
Square’s earnings report saw mixed results, but its stock rose in after-hours trading after the company said it would show profitability over the next year. Revenue growth was driven by Square’s core payment processing business and its young software and data business, which includes products like merchant cash advances and its Caviar restaurant delivery offering.
Lightspeed eCom Launches to Connect Retail and Ecommerce in an Instant (VentureBeat)
The mobile point-of-sale market is seeing stellar growth, but issues still exist for retailers, like how to easily integrate brick-and-mortar retail with an ecommerce presence online and how to keep those two disparate inventories in perfect sync. Point-of-sale company Lightspeed has announced a new solution designed to solve that problem.
For Peapod, Online Grocery Is Becoming a Mobile Business (Digiday)
Online grocery delivery company Peapod has been around, almost shockingly, for 30 years. One of the Internet’s first startups, it has survived by adapting and innovating, and this year the company will see half of all orders coming from mobile. And Peapod isn’t worried about players like Instacart and AmazonFresh; its view is that competition normalizes the behavior of online grocery shopping.
The Impact of Virtual Assistants and AI on Search (LSA Insider)
The recent explosion of voice search points to search as we know it changing more drastically, and far more quickly, than we previously anticipated. Keyword importance is fading as AI figures out what you’re trying to accomplish with the benefit of greater context.
Google Releases New Travel Guides for Mobile Only (Fortune)
Google has launched a new service that allows users to discover and plan their vacations from Google Search on their mobile devices. No new website involved, no computer necessary. Google also built in its Flights and Hotel Search functionality, so that a future traveler can go straight from deciding on a destination to booking the best real-time fares and hotel rates.