A roundup of today’s big stories in hyperlocal publishing, marketing, commerce, and technology…
Apple Pay Partners with AmEx to Expand Internationally (Fortune)
Apple is set to expand its mobile payments service, Apple Pay, to several new international markets with the help of American Express. The partnership will put Apple Pay in new territory at a time of stiff competition from Google’s rival service, Android Pay. Introduced a month and a half ago, Android Pay is unavailable overseas.
DEBATE: The Marketing of SMB Marketing Solutions (Street Fight)
Speculation over the best model for providing and marketing SMB solutions — do-it-yourself, do-it-for-me, or the middle-ground option, do-it-with-me — has been swirling for years. A Street Fight debate between two columnists, Greg Sterling and Matt Matergia, indicates technology is part of the current problem, but undoubtedly part of the solution as well.
JPMorgan Chase Says It’s Building a Rival to Apple Pay (Channel NewsAsia)
JPMorgan Chase will soon launch its own competitor to Apple Pay that will allow consumers to pay retailers using their smartphones in stores. It has already won the endorsement of a major group of merchants.
SMBs and Self-Service: Are We There Yet? (Street Fight)
Greg Sterling: The question of whether or when SMBs are going to self-provision online marketing has been a topic of intense debate for at least a decade. Signs now point to the emergence of solutions simple enough to make self-service viable within three to five years. Ultimately, rather than a do-it-yourself vs. do-it-for-me dichotomy, we’re likely to see an increasingly stratified local market.
Is Amazon Killing Small Businesses? (Forbes)
Ian Altman: As expedited shipping and online ordering have become more prevalent, it’s harder for retailers to compete with sites like Amazon when it comes to commodity items. But all is not lost. Although the internet has made it easy to ship a product virtually anywhere, there’s still something missing. Small business owners possess information and expertise customers can’t get elsewhere.
Forget DIY, DIWM, and DIFM: ‘Do Nothing’ is the Best Approach to Capturing the SMB Market (Street Fight)
Matt Matergia: The future of SMB marketing solutions isn’t do-it-yourself, do-it-for-me, or even do-it-with-me. Rather, it lies in a new go-to-market model called “do nothing” that combines context, content, software, and automation into solutions that are low-cost, have next to no barriers to entry, and require little in the way of learning or doing from customers.
How Yelp Plans to Clean Up One of the Restaurant Industry’s Most Dangerous Flaws (Washington Post)
Yelp quietly began running an experiment in San Francisco over the past week. The pages for a fraction of the city’s restaurants on the site now bear a new consumer alert: post-inspection food safety ratings.
Ex-Amazon Prime Now Delivery Drivers Sue Over Contractor Classification (Recode)
Four former Amazon Prime Now delivery drivers in California are suing the company, arguing they should have been classified as employees instead of independent contractors and thus should have received overtime pay and other protections. The suit is just the latest in a brewing legal battle targeting new on-demand services like Uber that have been built on the backs of independent contractors.
Chinese Ecommerce Stocks Rally in U.S. After Alibaba Earnings (Bloomberg)
Thanks in large part to the growth of mobile purchases in China, ecommerce stocks got a boost from Alibaba’s better-than-forecast earnings as investors bet the country’s economic slowdown isn’t hurting online consumer spending.