Street Fight Daily: Brick-and-Mortars Crushed by Online Costs, Instagram Tests Profiles for Businesses

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

Online Operating Costs Are Crushing Brick-and-Mortar Retailers (Retail Dive)
The cost of ecommerce is weighing heavily on brick-and-mortar retailers, who have successfully increased digital sales but thinned their margins in the process, according to a new study. That shift has led operating earnings as a percentage of sales to decline by up to 25 percent.

Instagram Is Testing a Facebook-Like Profile for Businesses: Here’s What It Looks Like (The Next Web)
Earlier this year, Instagram confirmed that it was developing business profiles à la Facebook Brand Pages. These new profiles provide three notable additions: a contact button, linkable location tag, and a category to better classify the nature of the business.

Native Ads Compete with News for Audiences’ Attention – And Get It (Street Fight)
Tom Grubisich: I was fascinated by a finding of the new Tow-Knight Center for Entrepreneurial Journalism study on how community and other news publications are tipping their revenue funnel toward native advertising. What caught my eye had nothing to do with dollars. It was all about how sponsored content could connect with readers as much as “news,” and sometimes more.

Tribune Publishing Rejects Gannett’s Takeover Bid (Poynter)
Tribune Publishing has announced that its board unanimously rejected an $815 million acquisition offer from the newspaper company Gannett. In its letter to Gannett, Tribune Publishing says the acquisition bid “understates the Company’s true value and is not in the best interests of its shareholders.”

AT&T Unwinds Web Alliance With Yahoo (Wall Street Journal)
AT&T is unwinding a 15-year partnership with Yahoo that has spanned the evolution of the Internet. The revenue-sharing alliance between the telecom giant and Internet pioneer had lost much of its cachet over the years amid a shifting Web landscape. But the partnership’s demise is ill-timed for Yahoo, which is in talks to sell itself to bidders including AT&T’s fiercest rival, Verizon. (Subscription required)

How SMBs Can Take Advantage of Location in Paid Search Campaigns (Street Fight)
Finding zip codes with the highest conversion rates, targeting multiple locations, and tailoring campaigns to a company’s industry are three of eight ways local merchants can take better advantage of location targeting in their paid search campaigns.

Tampa Just Lost a Daily Paper; Is This the Start of a New Trend or End of an Old One? (Nieman Journalism Lab)
Buy a company, milk the cash flow, sell off assets, shut it down: It can be a profitable formula. Is this the end game for some metro newspapers?

Facebook Evolves Into Go-To Platform for Social Ticketing (Mobile Commerce Daily)
With a growing number of consumers turning to mobile platforms to research local events and make plans with friends, marketers are striking while the iron is hot and introducing new social ticketing solutions on Facebook.

Siri’s Creators Say They’ve Made Something Better That Will Take Care of Everything for You (Washington Post)
Viv, the latest from the creators of Siri, is among the furthest along in an endeavor that many in Silicon Valley believe heralds the next big shift in computing and digital commerce. That transition will turn smartphones — and perhaps smart homes, cars, and other devices — into virtual assistants with supercharged conversational capabilities.

Mobile Advertisers Want to Know Exactly Where You Are, and This Company Tells Them (Recode)
Unless your company is called Facebook or Google, you’ll have a hard time building a growing business selling mobile ads. XAd, a firm that provides mobile location data to retail marketers, says it’s bucking the trend, claiming that it has clocked 100 percent annual growth as of the first quarter.

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