For tailoring its big-box brand to urban markets, and bringing a design mentality to the city shopping experience. With its rollout of modified CityTarget stores in four cities last year, the chain is rethinking store size (urban locations are roughly two-thirds the size of a suburban Target), inventory (fewer 12-packs of toilet paper and more pedestrian-friendly 4-packs), and layout (so shoppers can navigate within minutes).
For being the four-star-standard for local advertising. After going a public a year ago, Yelp has seen 67% year over year revenue growth, thanks to healthy growth of the company’s markets–78 million people now use Yelp monthly in 90 markets, and 32,000 local business advertise actively on the site.
For connecting stylists with new clients. StyleSeat’s app helps promote spa and salon pros to new clients, and knits together a nationwide network of independent stores you (gasp!) once had to call up to book an appointment with.
For empowering local businesses. The check-in service knows where people are–so how can businesses benefit? Its latest attempt is with Local Updates, a new features that lets businesses identify nearby customers and then entices them to swing by their brick-and-mortar location.
For finding deals for cardholders by tapping transaction history. The new MyOffers app gives merchants the ability to reach new customers and show them available nearby offers, without broadcasting discounts to everyone.
For bringing communities closer by letting them build a Facebook for their neighborhood. A $18.6 million round of funding from venture capitalists will help the start up continue to connect Facebook friends in your state, your zip code, or on your block.
For creating a mobile shopping genie by mapping out nearby stores. With Store Explorer, its new mobile feature, Svpply lets shoppers swipe through the wares on display at nearby retail spots, making it an on-the-go shopping companion.
For appifying customer loyalty punch cards, and letting repeat customers finally throw away that grimy paper. Perka offers a multi-tier system, so small business owners can set up the first round (buy nine slices of pizza, get the tenth free) and then a second round (buy eight slices…) to reward super-loyal customers and make them feel like VIPs.
For boots-on-the-ground updates on the tweets, Instagrams, and check-ins happening near you. The mobile social discovery app lets you virtually zoom to anyplace in the world that’s trending on Twitter, Foursquare, Facebook, Vimeo, Google, and LinkedIn, and so forth.
For giving power to the people to create and edit maps. The collaborative project lets users create a free, editable map, thanks to GPS devices, aerial photographs, and local knowledge. Last year, Barnes & Noble launched an OpenStreetMap-based map and navigation for its Nook.