For over 9 years, Yelp has not only enabled consumers to provide valuable feedback for almost any business they have visited, but find new businesses based on the reviews of others as well. Today at MobileBeat in San Francisco, Yelp CEO and CoFounder Jeremy Stoppelman announced a new feature called the Yelp Platform that will allow users to directly interact with businesses via their Yelp listing; i.e. the entire transaction for both users and businesses takes place using Yelp.
In a move to help businesses acquire customers more quickly, this was a logical step for Yelp as they have been building up relevant content for the past 9 years. Stoppelman noted that Yelp currently has 39 million reviews, which he says is “ something you don’t get anywhere else with “drive by” review sites.” He also noted that while many of the reviews are restaurant reviews, Yelp wants to expand beyond the restaurant milieu with the aim of becoming a “one stop shop” where consumers do not need to leave Yelp to complete their transactions – be that scheduling spa treatments and yoga sessions to making dentist appointments and purchasing services.
According to VentureBeat, the Yelp Platform will start in San Francisco and New York through partnerships with food delivery startup Eat24 and Delivery.com, including 100 local businesses. Through the Yelp Platform consumers will be able to not only locate that perfect restaurant, but also order the meal that they’ve been craving all day long and have it delivered to their door!
This new feature helps close the loop on customer acquisition and conversion for businesses much faster, as customers may be more inclined to order food from a restaurant that delivers than go out — especially if a restaurant is not conveniently located but will deliver to the user’s current location. For businesses that leverage advertising on Yelp and also offer food delivery, this also means that these advertising campaigns may perform better as they can help convert users faster.
Stoppelman noted at MobileBeat that he hopes to expand to other verticals and out to thousands of other businesses soon. Through partnerships with Booker, Intuit’s Demandforce and MindBody, Yelp plans to add categories like spas, yoga studios, salons and dentist appointments.
As this program expands, a successful Yelp Platform could become a role model for other content companies who want to close the loop on advertising campaigns in a way that becomes a conduit for quicker user conversion.
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