A roundup of today’s big stories in hyperlocal publishing, marketing, commerce, and technology…
Reserve Acquires Mobile Payments Startup Dash (TechCrunch)
Restaurant reservation startup Reserve has acquired mobile payments company Dash. The Reserve app already handles payments, but with Dash’s technology it will be able to integrate with various point-of-sale systems. Reserve highlighted Dash’s innovative use of data in the announcement of the acquisition, citing Dash’s “Venue Vibe” feature, which helps users understand what to expect at different locations.
U.S. Shoppers Save Big-Ticket Online Purchases for Desktop (Quartz)
American consumers now do a majority — 60 percent — of their online shopping on mobile devices, including smartphones and tablets. The bulk of online spending, however, still happens on desktop.
Automating Local Commerce: Rise of the Chatbots (Street Fight)
Michael Boland: Bots could displace apps just as apps displaced search. “Search started with consumers typing into a box,” Pingup’s Ron Braunfeld said recently. “[AI] is all about knowing where you are, time of day, what’s in your refrigerator; and giving you the right information without having to search.”
Report: Search Drives 10x More Traffic to Shopping Sites Than Social Media (Search Engine Land)
Search is the single largest traffic driver to websites, according to SimilarWeb’s Global Search Marketing Report 2016. The findings are based on billions of site visits to a global sample of websites, but reflect only desktop traffic.
Case Study: How a New York Car Dealership Generates Online Leads (Street Fight)
At his family-owned used car dealership, Anthony Curran works as a salesman and handles marketing. He says a recent campaign with Facebook had a lot of success, reaching more than 80,000 people in the first week.
On-Demand Moving App Lugg Hits Silicon Valley (TechCrunch)
Lugg, a startup that helps people with small moves via an Uber-like app, is expanding its reach into additional markets, and all of the Costco and Crate & Barrel locations in those new areas are pushing customers to Lugg as a means of helping them bring home larger purchases.
Privacy Is the New Money, Thanks to Big Data (Forbes)
Omri Ben-Shahar: It’s not surprising that Americans are nonchalant about aggressive collection of their personal information. What’s the harm? Truly embarrassing or offensive uses of that information are rare, as are security glitches, and there are significant benefits to Big Data. In the digital economy, it’s how we pay for services. This is the grand bargain in digital: free services in return for personal info.
Amazon Plans Big Push to Expand Prime Now (Bloomberg)
Amazon is aiming to broaden the reach of its Prime Now delivery service, and is selling major brands promotional deals connected to the expansion. The service, now only available through the Prime Now mobile app, will arrive on Amazon’s website in May.
Even in a Mobile World, Retailers Aren’t Convinced Social Media Can Sell (Adweek)
Between January and March, ecommerce vendor Custora crunched data on $100 billion in sales among 500 million shoppers and found that only 1.5 percent of retailers’ last-click transactions came via social media. Within that sliver of activity, Facebook dominated 81 percent of sales, while shopping-centric Pinterest generated 10.8 percent and Instagram, YouTube, and Twitter collectively yielded 5.2 percent.
Can Restaurants Rely On an App to Recognize Their Preferred Guests? (GeoMarketing)
App developer Wisely is offering its restaurant clients the ability to recognize loyal customers, even if the staffers haven’t personally seen those patrons in the past. Wisely’s Mike Vichich believes that his two-year-old platform is set apart from other digital loyalty programs.
How Pinterest Is Pitching Advertisers (Digiday)
Pinterest’s pitch to brands is getting more sophisticated, with targeting tools, fancier ads, and more robust ecommerce tie-ins. The social media site is now going after advertisers with a full suite of offerings, including digital couponing and impact measurement.
A Small Tech Site Found a New Way for Publishers to Get Paid (Bloomberg)
A website called the Wirecutter has become a Consumer Reports for the digital age, albeit with a unique model — it posts in-depth reviews of gadgets, embeds links to buy them on ecommerce sites like Amazon, and takes a cut of the sales. The site has a staff of about 60 and posts only a few dozen articles a month, but it’s profitable, driving $150 million in ecommerce transactions.
Airbnb Report in San Francisco Shows Nearly 10% of Listings Are Likely Illegal (The Next Web)
Airbnb’s newly released report for San Francisco shows the kinds of listings put up by hosts in the city. And like the one released about New York City a few months ago, it reveals that the company has a significant number of hosts with illegal listings.