Yelp Adds Transactions, Allows Ordering Direct To Local Businesses
One of the leading mobile apps for discovering local services, Yelp, has radically revised its mobile business model by allowing users to complete transactions and orders with local businesses directly within its app. In a blog post yesterday CEO Jeremy Stoppelman announced the introduction of Yelp Platform. “Starting now, people can order food directly from a select number of restaurants supported by Delivery.com and Eat24,” he says on the company blog. The capability is limited right now to select businesses in a few major metropolitan areas such as New York and San Francisco.
But the plan is to introduce transactions for pickup and delivery at local restaurants throughout the United States directly from the listings within Yelp and to move beyond the food categories. “In the coming months, we’ll add categories like spas, yoga studios, salons and dentist appointments starting with Booker, Intuit’s Demandforce and MindBody. Consumers can expect us to add more categories in the future.”
The new transaction capability is available both on the desktop and via the Yelp apps. The iOS version was updated yesterday, and features are coming soon to Android. The new platform allows third-party developers to integrate transaction services directly into Yelp via the company's APIs. The platform allows for a number of different transaction types including ordering, scheduling, payment, fulfillment and customer support.
Yelp recently publicized research demonstrating that users of its services were already in purchase mode. According to its survey, 82% of Yelp users visit the user-generated review service with the intention of buying a product or service. Twenty-eight percent of users say they make a purchase within a day of using Yelp, and another 39% say they complete a transaction within a few days. The most common searches on Yelp are for restaurants, followed by beauty and spa services, followed by food.
Yelp brings tremendous scale to mobilized local ordering, since it surpassed 100 million unique visitors in January and has 9.4 million mobile app users. It provides reviews, ratings and links to its own app within Apples map app on iOS devices. The company announced earlier this year that during January it was responsible for issuing 4.6 million phone calls to local businesses and 5.7 million directions.