Here’s a highlight of some of the top local-business-related news of the week:
[Retail News] Apple Launches iBeacon Tech to Target in-Store Shoppers
News Source: Digital Trends
Shoppers in every U.S. Apple store will now receive informational messages on their iDevices via iBeacon, Apple’s new location-based technology. iBeacon can be used to send product details, reminders, or event invites depending on a consumer’s location in the store.
Some messages are general to the store itself; others are specific to a particular product aisle, wall, or demo table.
Macy’s has also begun to pilot iBeacon technology in its New York and San Francisco stores to present discounts, recommendations, and other information to its shoppers.
Key Takeaway: This type of location-based targeting may become the future of in-store shopping. iBeacon and other similar technologies will provide businesses with the ability to give additional guidance and information as shoppers browse, thereby improving engagement and conversions.
[Payments News] Square Releases Thinner, More Accurate Card Reader
News Source: Entrepreneur
This week, Square released a new version of its credit card reader that’s more accurate and twice as thin as the previous version.
The updated device also comes with an audio jack that makes it compatible with more mobile devices.
New users who sign up for a Square account will automatically get the new reader; it will be available for purchase in-store sometime next year.
Key Takeaway: Mobile credit card reader companies are making strides to provide a better user experience for small businesses, offering enhanced functionality and performance for their percentage of earnings. If you aren’t accepting credit cards currently, you may want to look into your options again in 2014.
[Advertising News] New Google+ Ads Won’t Run on Google+
News Source: Mashable
On Monday, Google announced a new type of display ad called +Post ads. These ads are based on Google+ posts, but will not run on Google+ itself; rather, the ads will run in Google’s extensive display network of over 2 million sites. Social annotations such as Comments and +1s will be displayed as part of the ad.
+Post ads can be based on any type of Public Post a business creates, including photo, video, or even Hangout Posts. This type of format goes head to head with Facebook and Twitter’s Sponsored Post ads.
A handful of businesses, include Toyota and Ritz, are beta testing the format right now; all businesses will have access starting in January.
Key Takeaway: Businesses advertising on Google now have an additional format to try. If you have an active Google+ Page and are running Google ad campaigns for your business, you may want to consider throwing this new social format into the mix.