As the so-called customer journey takes new twists and turns, tech companies and agencies should help local businesses and brands differentiate themselves via user experience. Catering to virtual assistants might seem to be the path towards that goal. But it’s probably too early to make huge bets on these technologies.
In last year’s State of Hyperlocal report, over half of our survey respondents said they were investing in mobile. Respondents also deemed their own company’s brand awareness as their biggest challenge, even more than proving ROI to customers. What investments will make sense in 2017? With your help, we’ll find out, and present the results at our upcoming Street Fight Summit NYC next month…
FiveStars co-founder and CEO Victor Ho, who will be a speaker at Street Fight Summit West next week, caught up with us recently to talk about the efficiency of retention marketing, the shift from daily deals to digital loyalty programs, and what analyzing the trove of SMB consumer data can potentially yield.
“The core thesis … is to build a new type of logistics company where we’re using software that makes a lot of decisions previously made by humans,” said DoorDash CEO Tony Xu, who will be a keynote speaker at Street Fight Summit West. We spoke with him about scoring funding in a cooling investment market and the future of delivery as the company’s primary service.
The company’s CEO Jon Carder says that when you can prove attribution to local marketers, their rate of attrition drops dramatically: “It just gets incredibly better because there’s proof of how well the advertising’s working.” Empyr’s solution for attribution connects credit card information with mobile impressions.
Lots of companies have taken a whack at the local home services space — from Angie’s List to a raft of startups. ClipCall, which came out of beta in January and will present t Street Fight summit West on June 7th, relies on customers using the company’s app to record video of a job they need doing and then sends that video out to nearby experts.
Yes, we still shop at local stores, but the Walmart in the nearby shopping plaza isn’t the only competitor the local store needs to keep an eye on. Increasingly, it’s a host of online vendors and the growing crop of on-demand startups that have become an indelible feature of the local business landscape — both enablers and usurpers of their merchant partners.
Pop-up shops are becoming of a fixture of the omnichannel retail landscape — and not just during the holiday season. Storefront is a three-year-old startup that connects anyone who wants to sell and promote their wares with landlords who have retail spaces they want to rent — a “marketplace for renting short-term retail space,” as co-founder and CEO Erik Eliason described it. The model is proving successful in syncing both large retailers and local artisan/makers with physical spaces that would otherwise lie dormant.
During the holiday season, we focus so much attention on when people buy, how much they spend, and whether it got there on time that we tend to overlook what happens once gifts are purchased. An equal test for retailers — both online and brick-and-click — will be making returns as easy as the purchase itself.
Consumers are expected to spend $630.5 billion this holiday shopping season. Local merchants are fighting tooth and nail to take back a larger share of that revenue from their ecommerce competitors. Here’s what industry leaders said about the types of incentives that work best for encouraging shoppers to make holiday purchases at local retail businesses instead of big-box stores or ecommerce sites.
The mostly unreported story of Black Friday weekend is that much of the ecommerce growth came from “bricks-and-clicks” retailers, not pure-play e-tailers. The reason: Physical stores offer a critical customer experience and serve as a “brand anchor,” both of which support ecommerce for traditional retailers. Stores drive online sales because they instill a sense of confidence and trust in the consumer.
Cyber Monday was one for the record books. U.S. shoppers spent nearly $3 billion through digital channels, making it the single largest online sales day in history, according to Adobe, and continuing a string of firsts this holiday season. Mobile continued to display strong momentum from the holiday weekend in driving website traffic and sales.
If U.S. consumers proved reluctant to spend their Thanksgiving holiday in stores, they demonstrated few qualms about shopping online. Digital commerce was up significantly from 2014 levels. The momentum continued into Black Friday, which also saw brick-and-mortar spending reach its highest totals since 2012. The biggest winner over the holiday weekend was mobile: Its share of website traffic and online sales reached record highs.