A roundup of today’s big stories in hyperlocal publishing, marketing, commerce, and technology…
Amazon’s Ambitions Unboxed: Brick-and-Mortar Stores for Appliances, Furniture, and More (NYT)
The fight is coming directly to retailers on actual streets around the globe, where Amazon is slowly building a fleet of physical stores. And while most of the attention has been focused on Amazon’s grocery store dreams, the company has a more ambitious collection of experiments underway.
Optimizing for Mobile Search: New Tips and Old Tricks (Street Fight)
Damian Rollison: It used to be that you wanted to be situated as close as possible to the city centroid, or clustered with similar businesses. Now you might literally have to be the closest shop to the place your potential customer happens to be standing. How in the world do you optimize for that?
Research Roundup: Comparing Franchisees and Independent Professionals (Street Fight)
David Card: Comparing some surveys focused at opposite ends of the local small business spectrum — franchise operators and self-employed professionals — it feels like, though the industry is selling these groups the same marketing and commerce technology and services, the two segments are more different than similar.
Uber Takes Self-Driving Cars Off the Road After One Flips Over in Arizona (Quartz)
Local police say there were no injuries and Uber’s vehicle was not responsible for the incident. Uber said it is suspending tests of autonomous vehicles in Arizona and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania while it investigates what happened.
Brand Battle: Wireless Phone Companies Face Off (Street Fight)
To gauge how each company approaches local marketing, Brandify’s proprietary technology analyzed AT&T’s and Verizon’s store locations with focus on areas of local presence management. 4,903 AT&T locations and 4,000 Verizon locations were included in the data sample.
Google’s YouTube Has Continued Showing Objectionable Ads Despite Advertiser Pushback (WSJ)
A week after Google apologized for running customers’ advertisements alongside objectionable videos, triggering a change in policy, its YouTube site is still rife with examples that are angering big advertisers and causing some to cut spending with the tech giant. Recode: YouTube’s ad mess gives advertisers leverage for what they really want: more data.
This Austin-Based Startup is Gunning to Be the Next FedEx Killer Instead of Uber (Business Insider)
When Uber unveiled its same-day delivery service, UberRush, it was supposed to be the FedEx killer, dominating local business deliveries and changing how businesses move goods around a city. While UberRush has inched along, Dropoff, an Austin-based startup, has expanded into five different states and 12 cities in the last two years.
Facebook and Chartbeat Team Up to Measure How Stories Perform on Distribution Platforms (Poynter)
Chartbeat and CrowdTangle, recently acquired by Facebook, have announced a major expansion of a tool for measuring how stories are performing on social platforms. The two companies began a beta version of the Offsite Social service in September 2016.
Alteryx Rises 11% in Data Analytics IPO (TechCrunch)
Alteryx works with clients like Amazon, Ford and Coca-Cola to help them better assess what products are selling and where there are market inefficiencies. CEO Dean Stoecker touted a high customer retention rate, which makes it easier to predict revenue.
Toyota Partners with Japanese Telecom Giant NTT to Harness Connected Car Data (VentureBeat)
Toyota has announced a partnership with Japanese telecom giant NTT to collaborate on the development, verification, and standardization of technology across the connected car realm.
The New Ways Established Brands Do Battle with Startups (AdWeek)
In the old world, brands competed with each other head-on, whether that was trying to win at the First Moment of Truth with the largest share of shelf or creating the television ad with the most buzz during the Super Bowl. In this new high-stakes game of business, startups have decided to throw out the old rules.