Apple has established a new standard for conducting “nearby” searches, thanks to an enhancement to the Apple Spotlight search functionality. This moves the consumer down the path to purchase in a few significant ways, including proactive local search content and results that change by time of day.
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.
The importance of relevant searches extends beyond search engines. For publishers, custom site search that helps make better decisions about how to maximize the impact of their content, know and understand the likes of their users, and increase their level of engagement can make a material difference in their business. “The key to building a relevant search experience is blending complex signals together and ensuring your site search algorithm is always improving,” said Swiftype co-founder Matt Riley.
On the show: Kantar Shopcom and 4INFO team up; Tapad partners with VisualDNA; JCDecaux Star Wars OOH campaign; Placester raises $27 million; Beretta showcases its new i-Protect bluetooth gun; Brazil’s L&PM Editores prints books that double as subway tickets. Plus, news from Airbnb and MLSE; Royal Caribbean; TCS and Loctronix; and Loblaws.
The worlds of on-demand and deep-linking took another step closer when ride-sharing giant Uber announced a new mechanism for app developers to incorporate a button for users to request an Uber driver. Expect to see more of this kind of app integration among on-demand services, giving the market leaders greater scale and distribution.
In the era of UberRUSH, Postmates, DoorDash, and others, every business with an in-house delivery fleet is feeling the pressure to provide the same kind of on-demand delivery experience. The driving force behind the demand for on-demand is time, or the perceived lack thereof. Consumers have shown they will pay a premium to save it.
Ad blocking on mobile has been in the spotlight since Apple launched its iOS 9 operating system in September. “The loss from ad blockers appears to be more of an opportunity loss for publishers than an actual revenue loss,” said Thomas Sly, E. W. Scripps Co. vp of digital revenue and chair of the Local Media Consortium committee established to respond to the ad-blocking threat.
On the show: Western Union partners with WeChat for money transfers; Carvana to sell cars through vending machines; Millennial Media working with Rentrak to match TV ad viewing with mobile; RedBox offers free movie rentals for “America’s Movie Night;” National Geographic launches “Find Your Park, Love Your Park.” Plus, news from SenionLab; Gravy + ROIchecker; RoamingAround; Google + Virgin America; and Oxfam America + xAd.
Every institution of higher learning has myriad news sources, from official newspapers to social media platforms. Some college publications have ambitions and appeal that transcend the campus boundaries. One such example is The Student Body, which emerged from a class at the University of Florida’s College of Journalism and Communications in Gainesville and now aims to reach a national audience.
Square made its debut on the public markets yesterday. After its much-commented-on offering price of $9 per share, which some took as a shot across the bow for unicorn startups, the Jack Dorsey-helmed payments firm surged more than 45 percent in its first day of trading. The pressure may be off Square momentarily, but it won’t stay that way for long.