Yelp, the local directory and reviews service, is having a significant impact on whether a consumer visits or buys from a business, according to Nielsen research published July 1.
Yelp users are not simply browsing casually, they are using the service and its social features as part of their purchase cycle: 93% of respondents in Nielsen’s study (1,400 U.S. respondents) said they occasionally, frequently, or always make a purchase from a local business after a Yelp desktop or mobile session.
Interestingly, mobile visitors to Yelp were more likely to follow up with an in-person visit to a local business instead of calling it. That echoes earlier research from Neustar/Localeze, which found that despite all the click-to-call features available on search and directory apps, mobile users are more likely to make in-person visits instead of using their smartphone to call.
Yelp also found that mobile visitors were overall more likely to interact with a local businesses — whether it was to call, visit, or shop — than non-mobile visitors.
This data underscores the ability of local online reviews and listings, especially those designed for consumption on mobile, to drive significant offline consumption.
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