6 Indoor Navigation Platforms for Retailers

Nearly three-quarters of consumers with smartphones say they would rather use their mobile devices inside a store than ask an associate for help. Here are six platforms that merchants of all sizes can use to help customers find products on store shelves and perhaps complete more transactions…

Case Study: Texas Roadhouse Goes Local on Facebook

Rather than creating a single Facebook page to serve as a hub for all 300 plus Texas Roadhouse locations, Dave Dodson and his team have created local Facebook pages for each restaurant in the national chain. Dodson says people are more likely to be engaged with local pages, leading to an increase in comments, likes, and photo submissions on social networks like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Foursquare…

5 Ad Exchanges for Local Publishers

In an effort to gain control of their ads and ensure that their inventory is being sold at the highest possible rates, more hyperlocal publishers are banding together and joining private ad exchanges. Here are five private exchanges that local publishers can use to gain control of their inventories…

Case Study: New Loyalty Program Connects ’Wichcraft With Customers

After years of using paper punch cards to promote loyalty at its 16 locations, ’Wichcraft is going digital with a mobile loyalty program. By tying customer phone numbers to ‘Wichcraft’s POS system, director of marketing Ellen Kim hopes to send targeted promotions based on individual purchase histories and build more intimate relationships with the most frequent customers…

5 Platforms Retailers Can Use for Same-Day Delivery

Brick-and-mortar retailers that offer same-day delivery options give customers the best of both worlds — letting them support local businesses, without having to get off the couch to do so. Here are five start-ups that local businesses can use for expedited delivery…

Case Study: San Diego Smoothie Chain Favors Loyalty Over Acquisition

Frustrated by people trying to defraud his paper punch-card program, Shake Smart’s president, Kevin Gelfand, began looking for other ways to promote customer loyalty at his two San Diego locations. Gelfand ultimately chose to work with Perka, a phone app, and now awards his customers points based on the amount they spend during each transaction…

6 Tools Local Publishers Can Use to Build Business Directories

Directories give publishers a way to target local advertisers with a low-cost, self-serve alternative to traditional banners and display ads. Just as important, they provide instant value to readers interested in learning more about the merchants in their hometowns…

6 Mobile Tools for Managing Customer Complaints

Rather than hiring additional employees to answer customer queries, manage complaints, check inventory, and process returns, local retailers are increasingly looking for mobile solutions. Here are six platforms that merchants can use to interact with customers and resolve issues without taking their focus off the people currently inside their stores…

6 Tips for Increasing User Engagement On Mobile Apps

More and more businesses are developing branded apps as part of their mobile marketing programs, integrating location-based technology with product reviews, deal information, and even gaming elements to reach consumers. Here are six tips from experts on what brands of all sizes should consider when building their own custom apps…

Case Study: Using LinkedIn, Twitter to Cultivate Local Relationships

Chicago-based Foiled Cupcakes is a delivery-only business, but by tapping into networks on LinkedIn and Twitter, and keeping a close watch over the reviews posted on sites like Yelp, owner Mari Luangrath has been able to cultivate relationships with potential customers and position her enterprise as the go-to destination for companies needing desserts for in-house events or client gifts…

5 Location-Based Marketing Platforms for Brands Without Retail Stores

Figuring out where to purchase products from a brand that doesn’t have its own retail establishment can present a challenge for many consumers. Increasingly, major brands like Vicks and Nestlé are using location-based marketing platforms to help point potential buyers in the right direction. Here are five platforms offering brands a way to take advantage of such technology on their own terms…

Case Study: Brooklyn Spa Uses Credit Card Data to Identify Consumer Trends

At D’mai Urban Spa, owner Daniella Stromberg spends roughly $45,000 a year in credit card processing fees. Frustrated by the feeling that she wasn’t getting anything for her money, she turned to Swipely for help. Using the company’s payment marketing platform, Stromberg has been able to identify patterns and gain insight into how outside factors, like the weather, affect consumer behavior…

7 Ways SMBs Can Use Geofencing for Targeted Advertising

Although large brands have long been reaching consumers in targeted areas through geofencing, smaller businesses have been slow to adopt this new marketing technology. Here are seven tips from the experts on how small businesses can better use geofencing to target consumers in intelligent ways…

Case Study: Restaurant Focuses on Online Menus, Reservations

Jen Ziskin, co-owner of the restaurant La Morra, in Brookline, Mass., says she relies on a combination of email marketing, OpenTable, and menu management platform Locu to spur interest long before customers walk through her doors…

5 Analytics Platforms SMBs Can Use to Parse Customer Data

A number of platforms are making it easier for local merchants to track consumer behavior on mobile devices, allowing retailers to analyze the influence that check-ins, mobile apps usage, and foot traffic patterns have on their bottom lines. Here are five platforms that give businesses ways to utilize online data for better consumer targeting…

5 Hyperlocal Tools to Help Retailers Curb Showrooming

The biggest threat to the average local retailer this holiday season isn’t the big box store down the street, but the e-commerce outlet selling the same products for less money online. In an effort to help curb “showrooming” and entice customers to make more in-store purchases, local retailers are increasingly utilizing hyperlocal solutions. Here are five tools that retailers can use in their efforts…

Case Study: Mattress Retailer Uses Targeting to Boost In-Store Sales

At Innovative Mattress Solutions, online marketing director Brett Morris relies on display ads that work in tandem with his company’s print and television campaigns to promote holiday sales and in-store events. He uses geo-targeting to reach consumers living within a 15-mile radius of his company’s stores, and relies on different ad sets based on the demographics of the consumers he’s trying to hit…

7 Tools Restaurants Can Use to Post Menus Online

Menus are among the first things that a customer looks at when trying to decide which restaurant to visit, and restaurants with outdated menus on their websites — or even worse, no menus at all — are likely to be passed over by consumers. A number of marketing platforms have stepped in with solutions that make it easier for busy restaurateurs to publish and update their menus online. Here are seven popular options…

8 Ways Retailers Can Use Hyperlocal Tools to Capitalize on Black Friday

Black Friday sales accounted for almost 20% of total retail industry sales in 2011, and the National Retail Federation expects that figure to rise another 4.1% in 2012. In an effort to help local retailers boost their share of those sales, a number of hyperlocal platforms are stepping in with their own tools built specifically for local businesses. We spoke to several hyperlocal industry leaders to get their tips on how small businesses can promote themselves on Black Friday without overspending on expensive marketing campaigns…

5 Ways to Track Calls Coming From Mobile Ads

The true test of a mobile ad’s effectiveness isn’t in page views or click-throughs, but in the number of actual phone calls it drives to a business. Tracking the number of incoming calls that result from a mobile ad is a measureable way for big brands and local businesses to gauge the effectiveness of their digital campaigns. Here are six platforms that businesses can use to get a better sense of how many calls are resulting from their mobile ads.