Surprisingly, the answer may be your business on Yelp. Yelp is an online urban guide and business review site, headquartered in San Francisco. And it is shown to increase the revenue of the average business by $8,000 a year. Millions of American consumers look to Yelp for recommendations from fellow consumers. And with a smart phone, this information is accessible at the tip of the fingers. The website and mobile app have consumers everywhere turning to customer reviews before trying a new restaurant, cleaning service, hotel, coffee shop, or drugstore.
According to a 2012 study at Berkeley, a half-star improvement in a restaurant’s Yelp rating caused the restaurant to sell out 49 percent more frequently. That’s huge! And it shows how seriously customers today are taking the positive and negative experiences they have at an establishment. Now a description of a delicious meal, along with a photo, can be shared with interested parties almost instantly, but then again, so can a negative experience. It makes me question whether consumer review sites like Yelp are putting more pressure on business owners than in the past.
At one time, a bad meal or terrible service meant a bad tip. Today, it could mean the entire experience posted to Yelp. A new study by Merchant Warehouse confirms the importance of review sites, showing that 93 percent of consumers who consumers who research local businesses on review sites make purchases from those businesses. Again, huge.
Is your business on Yelp? Do you frequently review places where you’ve been a patron? Leave your comments below!