How Amazon Will Use Whole Foods as a Local Retail Anchor and Lifestyle Platform

Whole Foods has been rescued by its $13.7 Billion sale to Amazon, which should not only be able to leverage WF’s 431 stores with upscale shoppers, but amplify it with personalization, promotions, Prime Now delivery, and a broader selection of high margin lifestyle goods (which account for a high percentage of Whole Foods’ profit). Whole […]

Google Attribution and Its Impact on O2O ‘Close the Loop’

The idea for Online to Offline (O2O) is twofold. First, to understand how advertising impacts sales and provide advertising attribution. Secondly, it is to “close the loop” on a sale, getting customers to register credit cards; sign up for a club or e-wallet; and/or submit reviews. Customers can be incented to give up their personal […]

Yelp Extends its SMB Features, Adding Empyr’s Cash Back Loyalty Program

Yelp has made great strides in extending beyond reviews with reservations, food delivery, requests for quotes and other services. It will now add Yelp Cash Back via a new deal with Empyr, an online-to-offline marketing platform (full disclosure: I’ve had a relationship with Empyr). Cash Back is starting out with 8,000 restaurants and retail merchants. […]

After Lull, New Investment Dollars for Loyalty

In the card-linking space, some industry leaders are shying away from describing themselves as “customer loyalty” – they want to focus more on “new revenue.” But Thanx, a four-year-old, pure-breed customer loyalty solution for national-local retailers has just secured a massive $17.1 million “B” round led by Icon Ventures, Sequoia Capital and Javelin Venture Partners. […]

Why Pokemon Go Was The Biggest Local Story in 2016

What have been local game changers? My short list includes the rise of MapQuest; Craigslist; Google Local search; Yelp reviews; Small Business Saturday; and Groupon. This year’s candidate would be Pokemon Go, the augmented reality game from a founder of Google Maps that “lures” consumers to local stores, restaurants, movie theaters, museums and parks in […]