The holiday season is upon on and Yelp wants to make sure they do their part to help small business owners have a good one, giving them even more tools to connect with customers and help drive sales. Yesterday I had the opportunity to chat with Eric Singley, Yelp’s Director of Mobile and Consumer Products, to hear about the new stuff coming from Yelp and how it will benefit small business owners during the business holiday season.
First, what’s new at Yelp?
- Redesigned Navigation: If you’ve previously had difficultly managing multiple locations, your life just got easier! Eric informed me that they’ve really hard to make it easier than ever for SMBs to access all the tools available to them. They surveyed business owners to get a sense of their biggest issues and then addressed them to make things more intuitive, especially helping SMBs to navigate between locations.
- Changes to Offers and Announcements: To perhaps make things more clear, Yelp has split up Offers and Announcements to give SMB owners more freedom with what they can do. Which plays nicely into Yelp’s most major change…
- Check-In Offers: We first told you about Yelp’s new Check-In Offers feature when it was released earlier this month. Now we have some more details! As previously reported, Yelp Check-In Offers (different from the Business Offers that appear on a SMB’s Yelp.com page) give small business owners a new way to reward their most loyal customers who check into their business via the mobile application. Now each time a customer checks into your business via the Yelp mobile app, they can work toward unlocking special offers that you can set up for them. Yelp currently offers three different types of offers (A percentage off, a fixed price or a free item) and it can be set to be unlocked after one check-in, three check-ins or five check-ins. If you’re worried about security and people checking in multiple times, I already asked Eric and he assured me that safeguards were put into place to prevent against this.
- Better Mobile Tracking: It makes sense that with new mobile features comes better mobile tracking. Businesses can now track traffic and success of both Business Page and Check-In Offers via biz.yelp.com. This should help small business owners track which Check-In Offers are most effective so that they can hone in on what customers really want.
Those were the highlights from my chat with Eric. I continue to be impressed with Yelp’s commitment to working with small business owners and giving them tools that make sense for their business. While other sites have been first to launch “deals”, Yelp’s doing it in a really smart and intuitive way. Yelpers search the site looking for the best restaurant and interesting places to check out – by offering them deals and incentives, it plays right into that.
As a small business owner, I’d encourage you to read our tips on getting the most out of Yelp, as well as their Business Owner’s Guide. There’s a lot of useful information to be found in both.
Will you be using Yelp’s Check-In Offers this holiday season?
Hopefully the check-in rewards become more widespread through an established platform like Yelp because I feel like Foursquare is dying because it doesn’t get enough businesses to offer rewards (hence no answer to the “What’s in it for me?” question.
When is Yelp coming to Europe in great scale?