SMBLive Introduces ‘Cloud Profile’ for SMBs

Google, Yahoo, Merchant Circle, SMBLive, Yellowbot and various IYP sites have induced hundreds of thousands of small businesses to sign up for free websites and landing pages. Merchant Circle alone reports 750,000 signups. These kinds of companies are providing state-of-the-art features that many full-priced websites didn’t provide even four years ago, including (in some cases) landing pages, … Read more

Topline Local ‘Marketplaces’ Predictions for 2012

The idea of an online marketplace has continued to evolve dramatically in 2011. With the emergence of deals, we now have full-fledged Interactive Local Commerce in place, in addition to advertising. It seems that everyone has jumped into the pool. Where Marketplaces had previously been dominated by players such as AutoTrader, eBay and OpenTable, everyone … Read more

Palm Beach Post ‘Containing’ Craig’s List

Cox’s Palm Beach Post.com, fighting to stave off Craig’s List and slackening ad trends for newspapers in general, has focused on creating a super site for shopping. The site is replete with free ads, new features such as video, free direct-connect calls to advertisers, online coupons, post-your-own photos, and alternative channels beyond a Web site, including kiosk- and … Read more

ShopBatavia, ShopBirmingham Add Shopping to the Hyperlocal Mix

One of our big complaints against hyperlocal sites is they haven’t really invested in the commercial lifeblood of their community. They’re more like the (almost totally irrelevant) equivalent of a public access cable TV channel. That’s why we like the approach of ShopCity, which lets hyperlocal sites, chambers of commerce, local publishers and local governments use … Read more

The Amazon Influence: Living Social Beta Tests Premium Membership Program

Amazon’s a sleeper bet to really shake up local commerce . But what does that look like? For sure, we see the pieces being assembled…the focus on Amazon Stores, the $175 million Living Social Investment, the Kindle Fire rollout, the expansion of Amazon Prime to include access to a range of content, the build up of Amazon Transactions. … Read more

Payments 2013: New Payment Options Forcing Banks, Others to Change

Disruption happens. In the local space, we’re seeing it happen with Yellow Pages and newspapers. Banks are seeing it happen as well, which will cause a major change in the way that customers keep track of their money, buy goods and services and stay “loyal” to merchants. At NACHPA’s Payments 2013 in San Diego this week, speakers … Read more

Cartera: Local SMBs ‘Key’ to Growth of Loyalty Programs

Local businesses don’t have their own loyalty programs but can now benefit from tapping into bank programs. “Local is the key to our strategy,” says Jim Douglass, EVP at Cartera, a Lexington, Mass. company which manages loyalty programs for many top banks and credit card companies. Douglass sees five million SMBs potentially seeking to extend their … Read more

Groupon Rewards Rolls Out Nationally

Groupon Rewards — “the easiest rewards program in the world” — rolled out nationally this week after tests in 36 markets that began in October. The product is Groupon’s answer to the emerging “transaction marketing” space that many believe will be the natural successor to the daily deals business. BIA/Kelsey Marketplaces has counted more than 24 … Read more

Gannett Unveils ‘PaperBoy’ Online Circular

Retailers are sick of being lost amidst the clutter of newspaper print circulars. They haven’t seen much usage from their online circulars, either. But they’ll look on with interest come January, when Gannett, Knight Ridder and Tribune begin testing an online circular that allows a banner ad to be “moused over” to provide advertiser specials, … Read more

TorStar Goes With LiveDeal for Local Auctions

For a short time, eBay experimented with a Local Trading unit, which specialized in autos, sofas and other things “too heavy to ship.” But in 2001, it closed down the unit, which didn’t fit into its plans for eBay Autos, greater transaction fees, etc. By doing so, eBay took the chance that it would be … Read more