digital moves

Yelp Extends Local Services with New Delivery Platform

Posted by Sheila Shayon on July 10, 2013 02:56 PM

Yelp, an online business directory and review service is rolling out a new delivery feature, stepping boldly into the online food ordering space.

Dubbed Yelp Platform, the service will partner with local delivery services and handle the ordering, checkout and payment process.

“The idea is that there are all these consumers shopping on the site, and Yelp Platform allows them to take that next step—to transact,” founder Jeremy Stoppelman told VentureBeat. “The Yelp experience is all about going to local businesses. As you switch between different services, you as the consumer will have a one-stop shop.”Continue reading...

brands under fire

BlackBerry Faces the Music as Shareholders Await Promised Turnaround

Posted by Ben Berkon on July 10, 2013 12:46 PM

It's been quite a while since US phone users considered purchasing a BlackBerry device in favor of Apple’s iPhone or Google’s Android. 

In April 2012, when CEO Thorsten Heins took over Research in Motion Ltd. (RIM), the Canada-based BlackBerry manufacturer, he hoped the supposedly state-of-the-art BlackBerry 10 software (and re-invented touch screen and keyboard phones) would put RIM back on the map. He even enlisted Alicia Keys as Creative Director, following in the footsteps of other high-profile brand/celebrity collaborations. But the heavy investment in the company's future doesn't have much to show for itself yet. After a reported $84 million loss in June, the stock endured a 28 percent drop. New phone sales, in general, lagged.

At the company's annual shareholders meeting on Tuesday, Heins tried to downplay the elephant in the room.Continue reading...

mobile commerce

Walgreens Leads the Mobile Revolution in the Drugstore Industry

Posted by Dale Buss on July 9, 2013 07:12 PM

Walgreens may be behind many other verticals in adopting e-commerce, and it's certainly way behind digital pioneers such as But as in so many other areas, the Chicago-based drugstore giant started mobile ahead of its competitors. And Walgreens is aiming to keep it that way.

It recently launched compatibility with the Windows Phone 8 platform. Last Black Friday, Walgreens held an app-based promotion, and while sales via mobile devices so far come to only about 0.04 percent of Walgreens' total revenues, as Crain's Chicago Business estimated, there's no question digital traffic is taking off.

"Mobile is just going through the roof," Walgreens Chief Financial Officer Wade Miquelon noted during an investors conference in May, according to the publication.Continue reading...

games people play

Console Gaming Brands are in Denial Over Mobile Game Growth

Posted by Ben Berkon on July 3, 2013 05:15 PM

In June, the Electronic Entertainment Expo (otherwise known as E3) exhibited the latest and greatest from video game console giants like Sony, Nintendo and Microsoft. Even though Microsoft's Xbox 360 outsold Sony's PlayStation 3 and Nintendo's Wii U in the month of May, serious gamers were only concerned about the newest consoles to hit the market: the Xbox One and PlayStation 4.

But while E3 was brimming with fans eager to hear why Microsoft decided to focus on the non-gaming, and internet and social connectivity features of the Xbox One, as well as how PlayStation 4 will offer free games and even support developers creating lower-priced console games, perhaps the greatest majority of new gamers were not present at the event. 

The new generation of casual gamers are people who enjoy the likes of Words With Friends, Angry Birds, Fruit Ninja, and other simple downloadable games for mobile devices like iPhone and Android smartphones, most of which are free or cost under $2. Considering the PS4 and Xbox One consoles will retail for around $399 and $499, respectively—with games costing another $59.99 each—it's not terribly surprising that video game hardware and software sales have been down around 10 percent since May 2012.Continue reading...

games people play

KLM Readies Full-On Social Gamification with New Aviation Empire Game

Posted by Sheila Shayon on June 13, 2013 04:46 PM

For a 93-year-old airline, KLM Royal Dutch Airlines is pretty savvy when it comes to social marketing. In its latest social tie-in with its travel services, Dutch airline KLM is giving consumers a chance to experience the rush of running an international airline.

As announced at the Corporate Social Media Summit today in New York, on June 27th KLM will launch Aviation Empire, a Sims-like simulation game for mobile devices.Continue reading...

let's make a deal

Google Solidifies Mapping Supremacy with Reported Purchase of Waze

Posted by Sheila Shayon on June 10, 2013 01:51 PM

In a bid to reinforce its mapping leadership, Google is reportedly about to acquire Israeli map start-up Waze for $1.3 billion, beating out a bid from Facebook for $1 billion, Bloomberg reports

Waze is a crowd-sourced, mobile-oriented navigation device for drivers that mines the data provided from its 47 million members to create its maps. With mapping services among the five most-used applications on smartphones, owning a mapping service that allows for personalization will give Google a key advantage, especially in mobile ads, and boost its position within the social mapping space.

For Google, acquiring Waze also means keeping arch-rivals Apple and Facebook at bay, not to mention eliminating what could have been an imminent threat to its native Maps application.Continue reading...

Microsoft Reportedly Wants to Buy Barnes & Noble's Nook Business for $1 Billion

Posted by Sheila Shayon on May 10, 2013 12:45 PM

Shares of Barnes & Noble soared 24 percent after it was reported Thursday that Microsoft is considering a bid for the retailer’s Nook e-book business. 

Microsoft is reportedly offering $1 billion for the Nook brand and the digital assets of Nook Media on top of their $300 million investment last year to develop Nook content for Windows 8 tablets. "Our complementary assets will accelerate e-reading innovation across a broad range of Windows devices, enabling people to not just read stories, but to be part of them,” said Microsoft president Andy Lees at the time. "We're on the cusp of a revolution in reading." 

But the revolution stalled as the Android-based Nook has been a money-loser for B&N, not helping America's biggest bookseller compete against Amazon’s Kindle e-book reader.Continue reading...


Amazon Sets the Pace in China with Launch of First Paid-for App Store

Posted by Sheila Shayon on May 6, 2013 02:39 PM

Amazon launched its Android app store in China over the weekend, becoming the first Western technology company to offer paid-for Android apps in China. (Google’s Chinese store offers only free apps.) The update effectively launches a new version of Amazon's app store built in Chinese in the form of an Android app, along with a Chinese-language site for developers.

It’s a promising alternative to Google Play for Chinese developers like Tencent and Sina. TechCrunch notes that Amazon's app store provides easier access for developers, who previously had to sell through third-party stores, a global customer base and an "attractive revenue sharing model."  

Currently, there are home-grown services that offer paid apps to the Chinese market, the worlds largest in mobile, but many local versions are pirated or have malicious software issues. The Amazon store promises "quality and safety testing" and may very well be the prelude to the launch of its Kindle e-readers in China.Continue reading...

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