Mobile Commerce

Yelp Expands Business Commerce Platform

Yelp got another makeover — this time to help Yelp’s app platform expand to more business categories to help Yelpers book more services. And in typical Yelp fashion, the company announced the launch of its new offerings in an whimsical blog post.

“We spent all Winter helping you survive the snowpocalypse by sending food delivery straight to your door and booking escapes to tropical getaways and Napa wine tours, and now it’s time to ring in Spring with a fresh crop of partners that have made five new categories of businesses transactable on Yelp Platform,” the post read.

So what’s in store for Yelp? Through a partnership with Vimbly, Yelp is bringing activities from 5,000 vendors onto its platform that can be instantly booked. This means Yelpers can search through thousands of options for activities in their area to see what’s going on, and they can also check the weather forecast for that location at the same time before booking. This means Yelpers can do anything from renting a boat or booking golf, to finding a table at a restaurant to ordering flowers.

Yelp is also using its new business pitch to lure in new potential business owners.

“Spring is for the new and adventurous. Maybe this is the year you heed that little voice in your head and take the plunge… by becoming a great local business owner yourself,” read the Yelp blog post.

For those not so sure about the activity offerings, no worries, there’s probably a Yelp page that can help make the decision a bit easier if that paddle boarding adventure, etc., is worth the trip. Or perhaps learn where’s the best place to take the next vacation, per Yelp reviews. That may just align with what Yelp CEO Robert Krolik was thinking when he shared his vision for the company last quarter.

“In terms of what can it grow to, it can grow to — it depends, I guess, I would say. It can become a larger and larger piece of the business overall long term, but actually, at this point, we’re really focused on local advertising, and what Platform is all about is consumers. So it’s providing a consumer complete transaction. I find a place, want to transact, I transact and I’m done and I have a happy experience on Yelp,” Krolik said in the company’s fourth-quarter earnings call in February.

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