Over the summer, Yelp introduced several new mobile tools for its users, including the ability to post reviews of local business via mobile and to complete transactions and orders with local restaurants directly via mobile. Several months later, it looks like these new features are performing well.
Yelp users have posted an average of 10,000 mobile reviews a day since August, accounting for a quarter of all new reviews, according to Yelp CEO Jeremy Stoppelman. The company expects this number and proportion to increase, especially since the ability to write reviews from mobile was just introduced for Android devices.
During the company’s third-quarter conference call, Stoppelman also noted that the quality of reviews from mobile users was similar to those posted from desktop users. He noted that if a mobile review is deemed too short, it is converted to a tip, or shorter blurb, about a business. Stoppelman described the mobile review capability as a “net positive” and that “high quality content should lead to more traffic and more distribution.”
Yelp’s new ordering service is also showing promise. The company indicated that there are plans to extend to retail categories, allowing consumers to book things like spa services, home repair appointments and dental visits. The move represents the next step in integrating local review sites with local e-commerce tools – sites like Seamless, OpenTable, ZocDoc and MyTime have had explosive success in the online ordering and appointment booking space.
It looks like Yelp is making strong moves to diversify the value it offers both local businesses and customers. If you haven’t already, take a look at Neg Norton’s recent Search Engine Land column, in which he discusses the importance of local businesses leveraging new opportunities like mobile ordering to convert customers.