Yelp Search Filter Identifies Local Businesses With Virtual Offerings

In a series of features introduced Monday, Yelp now supports a search filter for companies offering virtual services such as yoga classes at 24/Hour Fitness, as well as therapy sessions, tax services, or tutoring sessions at other nearby businesses.

Companies with Virtual Service Offerings such as consultations, classes, tours, shows and performances can now indicate the services on their business page.

In the past month, Yelp has seen businesses adapt their offerings to support online models. Home services, fitness, gyms, health, and real estate have experienced the greatest adoption rates -- for example, Home Services: Wave Outdoors Landscape & Design; Design Everest (multiple locations); Corrigan Moving Systems (Buffalo location– multiple locations); and Sanchez Gardening.

The announcement, made Monday, also includes many other new products for local businesses relying on foot traffic that have been forced to close their doors, reduce their hours and change their business models.

The company has also completely redesigned Yelp for Businesses, to improve the business owners' experience providing increased transparency and insight into their Yelp Business Page as well as featuring COVID-19 content for Yelp page visitors.

The updates include Recommendation Cards, Tips, Content Feed and a faster load and response time. The home page will surface customers' questions, and businesses now have the ability to answer them with one click. The update is made in the Amenities section.

Banners and badges also are part of this update, with Yelp giving businesses a way to share messages with customer for free. Each business owner can share updates on their hours, what they are doing personally in response to COVID, and where people can find additional information.

More than 224,000 businesses have written personalized messages to their customers since the feature rolled out in beta.

Curbside pickup has been a big change for many businesses, and those offering the service would like to make it known. The term "curbside pickup"  will now become searchable in the app, allowing consumers to find businesses that offer the service.

The new Curbside feature becomes available sometime this month. Curbside, when launched, and Virtual Service Offerings, available now, allow businesses to mark they offer these services and allow consumers to filter and search. Consumers can search with words like "curbside, virtual," "virtual classes," and "virtual consultations," among others. 

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