If you haven’t noticed, this month has been kind of crazy for our industry. Leading social networks and online review sites are announcing partnerships with one another. First, Yelp snatches up SeatMe. Then OpenTable partners with Urbanspoon by buying Rezbook. Then Angie’s List acquires Brightnest, right before Facebook integrated OpenTable’s restaurant reservation system into its mobile Pages.
And it just got crazier. Now, Yelp is announcing that it has reached a partnership with ReachLocal.
As the latest part of its effort to enable direct transactions via the new Yelp Platform, the popular online review site says that it’s partnering exclusively with online marketing firm ReachLocal in order to expand the Yelp Platform offerings to home service providers. This means that, through Yelp Platform, Yelpers will soon be able to book home services – like home repair, home cleaners, movers, contractors, technicians, and interior design – without leaving the Yelp site or app.
Yelp already has similar partnerships with Delivery.com and Eat24 for food delivery, ordering, and pickup services. To enable direct bookings in this new home service category, Yelp is going to integrate ReachLocal’s ReachCommerce software into their platform. This will allow Yelp users to check online reviews of local service providers, see their availability, schedule appointments, and buy home services directly from a given provider’s Yelp listing/profile.
On the business owner side, ReachCommerce also makes it easier to manage bookings online, check E-mail confirmations, provide digital estimates, process payments, and track technician arrivals.
Said ReachLocal CEO Zorik Gordon, “The home services market will invariably undergo the kind of offline to online transformation the restaurant and travel industries have already experienced. Leveraging the power of Yelp Platform is one of the many ways ReachCommerce can help local service providers ensure they prosper in an era of digital transformation.”
Meanwhile, in an interview with VentureBeat, Yelp CEO Jeremy Stoppelman said that partnerships such as the one they struck with ReachLocal are all part of the company’s goal to become more than just a review site; it hopes to be a “one-stop shop” for transactions with local businesses, too.
“The idea is that there are all these consumers shopping on the site, and Yelp Platform allows them to take that next step – to transact,” Stoppelman said. “The Yelp experience is all about going to local businesses. As you switch between different services, you as the consumer will have a one-stop shop.”