Recently, I discussed a new feature on Yelp that allows users to order food delivery straight from the website. Now, Yelp is preparing to launch the next phase in their Yelp Platform plan. Soon, you will also be able to book home services with local businesses in your area through Yelp. This is coming about through Yelp’s new partnership with ReachLocal, an online marketing company. The further expansion of Yelp Platform is intended to help small businesses gain customers and increase their online presence more easily.
Partnership With ReachLocal
Yelp has gained the ability to enable booking of local services through their partnership with ReachLocal, who designed the platform. ReachLocal recently launched ReachCommerce, the beta version of the online system to book appointments that Yelp will use. This platform will be integrated with Yelp, and current users of ReachCommerce can already add the option to book services to their business page on Yelp. ReachLocal also created ClubLocal, the mobile version of this platform. Both companies will benefit from this partnership, as Yelp can offer a wide user base for ReachLocal’s software.
The Development of Yelp Platform
This plan reflects the next step in Yelp Platform, the initiative that Yelp announced at MobileBeat 2013. Yelp Platform is Yelp’s plan to move beyond the format of a simple review site into a platform for actual transactions between local businesses and their customers. Yelp began this line of services with food delivery, and home services such as a plumber, moving company, or contractor are scheduled to arrive by the end of 2013.
Supporting Small Businesses
Ultimately, the continued development of Yelp Platform is a way for Yelp to assist local businesses in attracting customers. Many small businesses lack an online presence other than their Yelp page. By allowing customers to book services online through Yelp, customers are more likely to actually patronize the businesses who are listed but do not have a website.
In addition, Yelp Platform eliminates the middle step of locating contact information and calling the business. Yelp Platform is ideal for those small businesses that may not have the resources to improve their online presence or develop complex booking systems.
How will your small business take advantage of Yelp Platform?
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