Not many business owners might be aware of this, but one of the most popular business categories on online review site Yelp – apart from restaurants, hotels, and doctors – is shopping.
Check out Yelp in Chicago, for example. Right now there are more than 8,000 reviews of retail shops and local boutiques on Yelp, ranking second only to restaurants in terms of business categories with the highest number of reviews.
It shouldn’t come as a surprise at all that people love to shop as much as they love to eat.
Now, Yelp is banking on the popularity of the shopping category as it introduces the latest expansion of its Yelp Platform: the ability for users to shop at unique local boutiques online, through a partnership with Shoptiques.com.
Streamlined customer experience on Yelp
Previously, Yelp enabled other kinds of direct transactions – like food delivery, online reservations, bookings and appointments – for businesses in other categories, such as restaurants and spas and hotels and wineries. Yelp users can now even order flower delivery, make nightclub bookings, and book tee times at golf courses. The latest Yelp Platform expansion promises to be one of its biggest yet.
After all, who wouldn’t want to shop for cozy cardigans or trendy jeggings from the comfort of their own home?
Addressing users who increasingly rely on customer feedback posted on Yelp to guide their purchase decisions, company VP for Business and Corporate Development Mike Ghaffary said, “Read reviews and highlights from the Yelp community for each boutique, browse their inventory in a sleek shopping interface, add to your cart, purchase, and get it delivered to your door, all on Yelp.”
Shoptiques.com is Yelp’s first partner in the shopping category. The result: a streamlined customer experience that essentially transforms Yelp into a one-stop online shopping platform, just as Ghaffary described. Currently, online shopping is available on the Yelp pages of more than 200 local boutiques, with thousands more to be added later this year.
A “Shop Now” button appears on the right side of the pages of participating local boutiques; shops’ inventories can also be accessed via a “View Products” link, also on the business’ Yelp page.
Winning Yelp tips for local boutiques
If you’re managing or marketing a business in the shopping sector – and this business is listed on Yelp – this new update should offer a new way to drive sales, encourage customer feedback, and improve your visibility online. It’s a double-edged sword, though: one- or two-star reviews might drive potential customers away.
To be able to take advantage of Yelp’s new online shopping capabilities, keep these following tips in mind:
- Visit biz.yelp.com if you haven’t yet claimed your Yelp listing.
- Ensure the accuracy of your listing info: business name, address, phone number, hours, etc.
- Keep your inventory up-to-date. Errors and inaccuracies in your product menu could lead to negative customer feedback and low ratings.
- Add great high-quality photos! Yelpers spend more time on business pages with photos than on pages without photos.
- Show Yelpers that you value their feedback by actively managing and responding to online reviews.
- Promote your Yelp presence by posting a link or widget on your site and other digital properties.