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Yelp Continues to Roll Out Transaction Tools, Adds Hotel and Winery Bookings

Since rolling out Yelp Platform last summer, Yelp has partnered with a variety of vertical tools in order to integrate transactional capabilities directly into the listings. The latest partnerships adds more food delivery locations and, for the first time, hotel and winery bookings.

The refrain regularly repeated on these releases is that Yelp is “continuing to add new categories and partners in order to bring consumers more ways to transact directly on Yelp.” Having partnered with delivery.com, Eat24, Booker, and now EatStreet, ChowNow, Ordr.in, Hipmunk and CellarPass, amongst others, the local search site touts 28,000 businesses available for booking on Yelp Platform today.

According to the company, Yelp shares in the revenue that the business pays to the online booking service for providing distribution and technology services. The business still gets the vast majority paid by consumers for their services.

As transaction tools are integrated on Yelp across more categories, the implications and related opportunity could be extremely positive for the company for three reasons as discussed by our own Greg Sterling earlier this year:

  1. With transaction processing comes fees paid by local businesses for the handling of those transactions.
  2. By handling bookings and transactions, Yelp, much like Amazon, Hotels.com or OpenTable, could follow up with customers that booked through the site to verify purchases and solicit reviews.
  3. In addition to helping business owners gain reviews, Yelp would have a better understanding of who purchased from a business via these transaction tools providing them a better way to verify review authenticity.

With all the noise around Yelp’s review algorithm and advertising sales practices, the transactional focus could help alleviate these issues to a degree. Whatever the case, if these partnerships are any indication, it seems that the growth of vertical tools and marketplaces isn’t exactly hurting the horizontal search site.

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