Yelp Influences Local Buying

More than half (51%) of Yelp users make local purchase decisions after visiting the online ratings and review site, according to a new Nielsen study. More than nine in 10 said that using Yelp at least occasionally results in making a purchase from a local business.

People accessing the site on mobile devices were even more likely to either to a business’ physical location or make a purchase. Nielsen indicated that input from consumers on Yelp has been a key to driving business for local businesses.

“These user reviews have helped drive foot traffic into everything from dentists to day spas, and the study found that over 96% of Yelp users across devices like computers, tablets and smartphones visit the site specifically for the ratings and reviews,” stated a Nielsen blog post today.

A separate study by the measurement firm found online reviews are among the most trusted sources of information, with 70% of consumers finding them somewhat or completely trustworthy.

To prevent fake reviews, Yelp said in a blog post last month that it runs sting operations to weed out fraudulent businesses, as well as an automated software program that filters out questionable reviews.

Overall, the study found 85% of customers find local business information online.

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