Yelp Adds More Tools for SMBs

Yelp has added to the tools it’s offering local businesses. Earlier this year, Yelp launched a range of what I called “CRM tools” for local merchants. They’re all accessible from a central business center log in.

Today it’s giving businesses the ability to add lots of additional information, as well as recommend other local businesses. This enhanced information appears under an “about this business” tab that shows up next to a reviews tab. The option to do this is free to businesses that claim their listings. It also includes the ability to add images and promotions of various types. (CEO Jeremy Stoppelman and I had a conversation about mobile and promotions and I got way ahead of myself in imagining some of the things that Yelp might do.)

In part, the new “business recommendations” feature responds to a problem that Yelp has been dealing with where local businesses were “trading reviews” because they wanted some control over the “conversation” on the site. But Stoppelman said to me yesterday that these new tools are part of a longer term evolution that the site has undergone, rather than being a specific reaction or response to that issue.

He said the site is attempting to be more responsive in general to business owners even as it seeks to maintain its consumer focus. He believes that business that become more engaged in Yelp may eventually become advertisers but he stressed that this wasn’t the intention behind introducing these new features. He said that the “about this business” content is also highly beneficial to consumers looking for more information than simply reviews or business contact details.

Here’s a screen of what this looks like on the “back end” from the POV of the merchant:

picture-19

And here’s how the information is presented from the consumer perspective:

picture-201

As mentioned, the “about this business” information appears under a second tab adjacent to a “reviews” tab.

Cox’s Kudzu previously launched a feature — “business networking” — allowing local businesses to recommend other businesses. I wrote about that here.

Yelp has also provided some interesting data about its users and their activity on the site:

picture-211

picture-22

3 Responses to “Yelp Adds More Tools for SMBs”

  1. Mobile Restaurant Ratings - The New Gratuity? Mobile Restaurant Guides Empower Consumers Says:

    […] I’d hand out small rate-us cards to customers with a simple URL (e.g. restaurant.com/rate-us) that took them straight to the ratings pages for major directories, such as Yelp. […]

  2. What Show Up on Yelp « Screenwerk Says:

    […] “about this business” information and the ability to recommend other businesses are relatively new features on Yelp. Kudzu allows businesses to recommend each other and […]

  3. The Local Product Suite Now in Focus « Screenwerk Says:

    […] offers some CRM functionality behind the scenes and Citysearch’s new Twitter integration is a version of CRM (users can message the business […]

Comments are closed.


%d bloggers like this: