What's Hot in Small Business – Chris Crum

Yelp Updates Aim to Enhance Connections between Consumers and Local Businesses

Yelp Updates Aim to Enhance Connections between Consumers and Local Businesses

Yelp recently announced a number of new updates for consumers and business owners. The company believes these will enhance the connections between consumers and small businesses.

One of the highlights is improved decision-making, with AI-powered business summaries that surface unique insights.

"For years, we’ve leveraged AI to help reduce consumers’ decision paralysis — from spotlighting the most popular dishes and drinks, to using LLMs to power review highlights for more nuanced searches," Yelp explains. "Now, new AI-powered business summaries leverage LLMs to parse recent reviews and describe what you can expect at the business, helping you quickly find a business that fits your needs at a glance. At the top of restaurant, food, and nightlife business pages, these unique summaries highlight what the business is best known for based on first-hand reviews from users — such as the atmosphere, service, amenities, value, or a popular dish."


The feature is currently available for iOS, and will soon come to Android and desktop.

There is also a new, revamped business-owner experience, which provides market and competitive insights, as well as AI-powered smart budgets that provide recommendations to optimize ad spend. Yelp states that this experience will help local businesses grow and better compete in their markets.


"In a highly competitive market, local businesses are constantly seeking new ways to stand out," the company says. "Our latest product enhancements provide even more valuable insights to businesses on Yelp, equipping business owners with comprehensive, competitive performance data and smarter ad budget recommendations, helping them make strategic, informed decisions to reach relevant consumers and grow their business."

The company is rolling out a one-time login experience that allows business owners to enter a pin to access their account, including their "Projects" messages. It also teases additional features for businesses in the future, as AI technology continues to progress.

Yelp is also launching a new way for consumers to earn recognitions for writing reviews in the categories they’re passionate about, such as burgers, cocktails, coffee, etc. When they write at least three reviews within a year for businesses within the same category, they can earn these recognitions, which are featured in the "Achievements" section on the "Me" tab in the Yelp app. Recognitions will also appear next to users’ reviews on business pages for the same category. This distinguishes these particular users from other reviewers. The number of applicable categories will increase over time.

Other new consumer-facing features include a new visual home feed, a new search experience, and new updates to the services experience. These include enhancements to the Request a Quote feature and a new "Projects" feature that makes it easier for the user to find the right service professional for the project they need done.

This year, Yelp is celebrating the 20th anniversary of its founding and promises more features aimed at connecting consumers and local businesses.

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