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‘Search Starts Here’: Building the “Local Commerce Operating System”

This afternoon LSA’s Brad Carson spoke with four outstanding experts in the small business technology space: Founder of MyTime – Ethan Anderson, VP and General Manager of SaveLocal (Constant Contact) – Dave Gilbertson, CEO of hibu – Bob Gregerson, and Director of Product Management at Groupon – Sean Harper.

One theme rang true throughout the conversation: local commerce operating systems must be kept simple and be performance driven. Small businesses are starved for time, often with a very small staff juggling multiple roles. It’s critical that systems are as simple as possible, and focused on results not tactics.

Interestingly, the panelists agreed that focus on platforms like these should soon incorporate not only customer acquisition but customer retention and loyalty. MyTime’s Ethan Anderson talked about what’s to come from his platform – MyTime technology could scan a customer’s calendar to see where they have time and suggest appointment times with their dentist or doctor.

Across the board in local search the bar is being raised on how we communicate ROI. Bob from hibu said the chief asks he hears from small business owners are “help me grow,” “help me transact” and  “help me be more efficient.” With local commerce operating systems like these we must get small business owners as close to the dollars and cents as possible.

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